Family and friends of Joshua Ferguson

Family and friends of Joshua Ferguson gathered in Elliottville last Tuesday for the dedication of a Memorial Highway in his honor. From left are his father Bill Tackitt, Rep. Rocky Adkins, Emalyn Brown, mother Lois Tackitt, grandmother Evelyn Conn, aunt Lucy Moore, sister Jessica Tackitt, and Andrew and Leland Joshua Brown. (Photo by Brad Stacy)

More than 50 friends, family members, and firefighters gathered in Elliottville last Tuesday in memory of Josh Ferguson, as the main road running through the small town is now dedicated in his honor.

The stretch of road between the top of Hogtown Hill to Messer Road on KY 32 South in southeastern Rowan County will now forever be recognized as the Joshua Ferguson “EFD 722” Memorial Highway.

Ferguson, 30, passed away in Aug. 21, 2012, in a tragic logging accident.

A Captain of the Elliottville Department, Ferguson was a staple of the Elliottville community serving as a first responder, a member of the Baptist church, and a friend to all those he came across.

Morehead Fire Department’s John Northcutt told a story about a toy tractor Josh would often play with when he was a child while stopping by the Northcutt’s funeral home. A toy in which eventually turned into a gift to the young Ferguson.

“I really connected with Josh through the fire service,” Northcutt said. “Josh was committed and he set and achieved his goals. He trained hard and worked his way up the ranks. He loved everything about the fire service and Elliottville Fire Department. He was a proud public servant and with that his lights had to be the brightest, his siren the loudest, and radio the most powerful. He had a huge heart and always looked out for others. He was genuinely unselfish and it showed. He was well-trained and led by example; there was no situation he couldn’t handle. He saved lives. Those who worked with Josh can testify to his dedication and loyalty. His inspiration will shine brightly as we travel through Elliottville. Josh’s legacy will live on.”

Larry Hamm also spoke during the dedication. Hamm was a close friend of Josh’s and volunteered with him on the fire department.

“We made many runs together,” Hamm said. “I live a half mile away while Josh lived three and he always beat me to the station. He loved the fire service. When you saw Josh you got what you saw. He was a straight up, honest man. There are certain people in the fire service you trust and Josh was one of those men. I knew if Josh was there he had my back.”

Rep. Rocky Adkins took time away from the legislature’s session in Frankfort and also attended the dedication hosted at the Elliottville Baptist Church’s fellowship hall.

“I pray this brings comfort to his amazing family,” Adkins said. “I hope as we pass through this community we remember all Josh did to make this town and fire department a better place. Whether it was the brightest lights or loudest siren, everywhere Josh went he brought a light to it. You understood his dedication and commitment and love for other people. Not only is this a dedication to Josh, but to all those who worked and cared for him. He would want this road naming to be a part of you because of your commitment to this town and family.”

For a road to be dedicated, a resolution must be passed in the Kentucky General Assembly. The resolution passed unanimously.

“In Frankfort there isn’t much that both sides agree on anymore,” Adkins said. “Because of Josh’s service and dedication throughout his entire life . . . this one was a no doubter.”

Ferguson is the son of Lois and Bill Tackitt and Eugene and Sherry Ferguson.

Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.