Jack Franklin Laughing Jack Ferrell
Durango and Apache Junction, Ariz., resident Jack Franklin Ferrell died Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz. He was 86.
Known as “Laughing Jack,” Mr. Ferrell was born to Clifford Harold and Mary Ellen Ferrell on Nov. 15, 1926, in Anthony, Kan. His family said he often talked about spending summers at his Aunt May and Uncle Rob Strong’s ranch in northwest Oklahoma with his cousins.
As a young man, Mr. Ferrell worked on a ranch in Silver City, N.M., where he met his future wife, Bonnie Jo Van Camp. The couple married April 13, 1949, in Silver City.
Mr. Ferrell became a master carpenter in 1949. In 1953, the Ferrells moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., and five years later, he laid out the old Durango Municipal Pool for Mullin Pools of Arizona before working in Amorita, Okla., at the feed mill.
The Ferrells moved to Durango in 1966. Mr. Ferrell worked with Jim Jackson of Rio Grande Land as lead carpenter on the remodel of the entire 500 block of Main Avenue and later on the Quiet Lady Bar.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Ferrell developed the Lone Pine Mobile Park.
He served as a Colorado Mounted Ranger from 1966 to the 1980s.
Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell became snowbirds in 1984. Mr. Ferrell enjoyed attending garage sales, and he and his wife loved traveling in their camper. He participated in family reunions in Oklahoma and Kansas. In his spare time, he fished and hunted and went on pack trips with some of the many mules he owned over the years. Both Mr. and Mr. Ferrell loved baseball, and they liked to watch spring training in Arizona.
Mr. Ferrell was a third degree Mason of the Cherokee Masonic Lodge. In the Durango Masonic Lodge, he was a 32nd degree Mason and Scottish Rite and York Rite.
“He was content to watch the trees grow and the traffic go by,” his family said. “He was happiest working in his woodshop and building sheds.”
Mr. Ferrell was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Bonnie Jo Ferrell, in March 2012.
He is survived by his son, Renn Franklin Ferrell, of Durango; sister, Mary Alice Sperry, of Clearwater, Kan.; two grandsons; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. 1261 East Third Ave. Chaplain Earl Caudill will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Intermountain Hospital, attn.: M.J. Filler, Fairfax Road at Virginia Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103.