• M/W

William Henri Ferryman Jr., 88

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
image description

Great Northern/Burlington Northern engineer William “Bill” Henri Ferryman Jr., 88, died Nov. 26, 2023 at Ecumen’s Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

A third-generation railroader, Ferryman’s career spanned 36 years, beginning in 1954 when he worked summers during college for the Great Northern Railroad. His time with GN took him to Whitefish, Mont.; Spokane, Wash.; Klamath Falls, Ore.; Seattle, Wash; Shelby, Mont.; Grand Forks, N.Dak.; Fergus Falls, Minn; Superior, Wisc.; and Great Falls, Mont. Upon creation of Burlington Northern in 1970, he moved to Billings, Mont., as Regional Maintenance Engineer. In 1973, Ferryman was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer of the Colorado & Southern, in Denver. In 1976 he moved to Casper, Wyo., where he oversaw construction of BN’s 127-mile Orin Subdivision into the Powder River Basin. Once completed, he returned to Denver as BN’s Chief Engineer of the Denver Region. He retired in 1990.

Ferryman was born in Havre, Mont. on Sep. 17, 1935, to William Henri and Gladys Jeannette (Fee) Ferryman. Raised in Spokane and Ballard, Wash., he graduated from Ballard High School in 1953 and then attended the University of Washington where he graduated in 1957 with a degree in Civil Engineering. During his college years he was a member of the ROTC and upon graduation served in the United States Army in Fort Eustis, Va., and Fort Lewis, Wash. Ferryman married Susan Anne Evenson in 1962. They have two children, Ann Kathryn “Katie” Goar and David William Ferryman. David, son-in-law Guy Goar and grandson Cole Goar all work in the railroad industry. David is Chief Operating Officer of Anacostia Rail Holdings.

Ferryman was a member of Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, El Zagel Shrine Organization, Great Northern Railway Historical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA). He served on the Board of the Roadmasters and Maintenance of Way Association.

Ferryman is survived by his wife and children, and four grandchildren: Cole Andrew Goar, William Carter Ferryman, Molly Kate Goar and Braeden David Ferryman. Donations in his memory can be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children at https://donate.lovetotherescue.org/inMemoryofBillFerryman