David Ferguson Mills. Known to his friends as Ferg, David Ferguson Mills was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on June 2, 1943. He grew up in northern New Jersey and graduated from The Peddie School, Penn State (BA in Psychology) and Indiana University (MBA). While at Penn State, Ferguson was an active member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He competed in lacrosse and rugby in Club sports and enrolled in Penn State's Army ROTC program. Upon graduating from Penn State Ferguson received a commission in the United States Army. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ferguson volunteered for paratrooper school and after a short stint with the 82ndAirborne Division, volunteered for Special Forces. He served with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam during the period 1967-68. While in service Ferguson was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge and Parachutist Badge. After completing his military obligation, Ferguson’s career spanned nearly forty years working primarily in Labor Relations for Emerson Electric where he was known as a tough and effective negotiator.
Ferguson eventually settled in Highwood, Illinois where he volunteered his time at the Highwood Public Library and served as Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission from 2012 until his death. Ferguson was well known around town. He loved riding his bicycle year-round, often stopping to offer a few words of encouragement to friends along with the gift of a steel penny from 1943, the year of his birth.
From the time he was a teenager Ferguson thrived on confrontation and danger. Physically imposing, he was the perfect candidate for contact sports, intervening in bar fights and combat. It came as no surprise to the family that he volunteered for the most dangerous of missions in Vietnam, played rugby well into his 50’s and took on labor disputes with relish. To his family, Ferg was a gentle giant who gave all-enveloping hugs. He was also quite the raconteur who loved to spin yarns that were far too outrageous to be true; except, in fact, they were.
Ferguson was predeceased by his father William Mills and his mother Mary Mills. He leaves behind two brothers, Robert and John, as well as a sister-in-law Linda, three nephews, Kristofor, Christian and Harrison; and two nieces, Sarah and Micah.
A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 2:00 PM until a Time of Remembrance Service 2:30 PM at Seguin & Symonds Funeral Home, 858 Sheridan Road, Highwood, IL. Private Interment and Military Honors were held on Friday, January 14, 2022 at Fort Sheridan National Cemetery, Highwood, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ferg’s name may be made to the Friends of the Highwood Public Library, 102 Highwood Ave, Highwood, IL 60040.
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Friends of Highwood Public Library
102 Highwood Avenue, Highwood IL 60040