Duane A. “Red” Ferris, 96, of New Philadelphia, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 14, 2023 in Community Hospice-Truman House at New Philadelphia following a period of declining health.
Born in Dover, “Red” was the son of the late William E. and Melva (Ludi) Ferris and prior to his graduation from high school, enlisted into the United States Navy and proudly served his country during World War II. Following his discharge from the service, Red returned to Dover to complete his high school education.
Red began his career in the automotive business in 1948 when he and Paul “Shorty” Mathias, opened and operated a used car business on Stone Creek Road. Red then went on to work for R&J Motors in Strasburg and learned much from the owner, Don Rockenfelder. In 1958, Red purchased Haas Chevrolet in Strasburg from Brian Haas and operated that business until 1966. Eventually, through his hard work and determination, he then purchased Weaver Chevrolet in Dover and thus began Ferris Chevrolet. The dealership would move to its present location in 1968 and where it continues today with leadership from his three sons and grandchildren.
Red will be remembered for many things. His love of golf and his longtime memberships at Union Country Club in Dover and Forest Country Club in Ft. Myers, Florida and where he was recognized as Club Champion at both locations. His love of fishing and spending time in Canada at the Quinnebog Fishing Club and the Hen Island Fishing Club. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a 61-year member of the American Legion at Strasburg, the New Philadelphia Elks, a former member of the Strasburg Booster Club and past director of the Ohio Auto Dealers Association.
On March 21, 1948, Red married Wanda J. Sherrets and together they shared over 45 years of marriage before her passing on July 14, 1993. Surviving are three sons, Tom (Vernita) Ferris of New Philadelphia, William “Bill” (Donna) Ferris of New Philadelphia and Richard Ferris of Naples, Florida; five grandchildren, Pat (Jessie) Ferris of New Philadelphia, Ryan Ferris of Dover, Matt (Lisa) Ferris of Dover, Mitch (Andrea) Ferris of New Jersey and Elizabeth Ferris of Coshocton; eight great grandchildren, Brody Ferris, Kailey Bevins, Riley Ferris, Megan Ferris, Jane Ferris, Sean Ferris, Hope Ferris and Vivien Ferris and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Red was preceded in death by his daughter, Diane Ferris-Deliz; his brother, Jim Ferris, his sister, Betty Ferris Brown; and his second wife, Donna Mohn Ferris.
In keeping with Red’s wishes, he is to be cremated through the care of the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia. A private family service will be held later this spring with Pastor Dwight Mason officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Burial Park at New Philadelphia where the New Philadelphia VFW will provide military honors.
The family requests that memorial contributions be directed to Community Hospice-Truman House, 716 Commercial Avenue SW, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.