Eugene C. McFerran
Our beloved father Gene passed away Sunday, November 14, 2021, at the age of 91, from a leg infection. Gene was born September 30, 1930, in Spokane, WA, to Milton and Elsie McFerran. He spent his childhood in Spokane and Wallace, ID, and summers in Hammond, MT, helping on his grandfather’s ranch.
After graduation in 1948, he left Spokane to attend college at MSU Bozeman. Shortly thereafter, his parents moved from Spokane and purchased a small farm in Boyd. Gene eventually quit college to help with the farm. In October 1949, Gene met Frances Cline at a dance at the Boyd School and they were married on July 2, 1950, in Joliet.
Gene became a Master Electrician and worked as a Wireman until he decided it was time to own his own contracting company, Midland Electric, which he started in 1961. This began the era of being his own boss, which suited him well. Other ventures included a second Midland Electric in Ventura, CA, and later returning to Billings, owning a Ford Tractor dealership and four farms and ranches. During winter months and after retiring for the third time, Gene and Frances enjoyed traveling in their motorhome.
Gene dreamed big and wasn’t afraid to try anything. The words “No” and “Can’t” didn’t exist for him. He especially loved machinery of any kind, and farming and ranching. He had a unique ability to visualize the internal mechanisms of what made things work and diagnose how to fix it, always creating ways to make things work better and projects to keep his mind and hands busy. His creative ability also included writing stories and poetry, most of them being humorous. Throughout the years, he restored classic cars and tractors. Gene was a confident man, and made and followed through with decisions quickly. He had a heart as big as his dreams, along with a fun-loving nature which was sprinkled with his humor and wit. He would tell you “I’m a lucky guy and have been fortunate to be able to do everything I wanted.”
Gene was raised as a Master Mason in Ashlar Lodge #29, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Montana, on November 27, 1964, where he was honored to become a permanent life member. He went on to become a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Billings on March 17, 1973, and later became an Al Bedoo Shriner in Billings, MT, on April 18, 1973. He was also a long-term member of the Billings Elk Lodge #394, as well as the Optimist and Rotary Club.
He was preceded in death by Frances, his wife of 65 years; his parents; daughter, Janet Neville; and grandson, Clint Fisher. Survivors include brother Don McFerran; daughters, Joan Obert, Susan Fisher (Don), Brenda Stephenson (Jim); grandchildren, Lisa Fisher, Ellen Blain (Scott), Nate Arthun, Ryan Obert (Val), Kevin Obert (Jade Jones), Will Neville (Kellie) and Tom Neville; great-grandchildren, Weston and Kinley Blain, Ellie and Myles Obert and recent twins Brooks and Siersha Neville; sister-in-law, Beverly Tait; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He was grateful for the friendships he made over his lifetime and enjoyed making new friends while living at Morningstar.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., in Billings. Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, at Michelotti- Sawyers in Billings with interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Reception following interment at the Elks Lodge, 934 Lewis Avenue, Billings. The service will be livestreamed for those who may be unable to attend. Donations can be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children.
The livestream portal is at the bottom of this page.