2009 Grand Marshal Ernesteen Ferry

This year’s Grand Marshal, Ernesteen “Steen” Ferry, was born May 5, 1921 and raised in the small town of Girard, in Kent County, Texas. She is the daughter of Earl and Nora Mayfield who owned the town general store. Steen was the middle child of three siblings.

After the war began Steen’s older sister took a job in Bakersfield, California working as a bank teller. Not long after high school Steen soon followed taking a job working for Lockeed in Bakersfield making bomb release mechanisms for the B-17 bombers during World War II. A mutual friend knew of a nice man that drove up to Woodlake to see his folks often and since Steen and her sister had family in Strathmore they were able to travel with them. That nice man William “Bill” Ferry turned into her loving husband of 62 years.

Bill and Steen were married on August 15, 1945 and in 1947 moved to the Elderwood area of Woodlake not too far from where the Woodlake Lions Rodeo is still held today. Bill was very instrumental in starting the PRCA Rodeo in Woodlake and took an active role every year in putting the rodeo together.

Steen is the proud mother of three beautiful children Joan Molinari, Pam Whiteside and Billy Ferry. Two of which have continued the tradition of Rodeo support year after year. Steen has been blessed with six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Steen might not be a name you recognized right away. Her community support along with her life has always been contributed in the behind-the-scenes sort of way. Steen was a very busy mother of three but still found time to be a member of the local garden club. She was the back bone of a striving citrus farmer and community supporter.

When asked about Steen by her grandchildren they will all say how absolutely amazing she is. From her fabulous “to die for” apple pie that once you’ve tried, you’ll be begging for more. To her vast gardening skills that even her plant biologist granddaughter calls on to collaborate from time to time. She continues to inspire her love of gardening and ceramics, sewing and baking to not only her children but her grandchildren as well.

Steen admits that she may not have done anything grand or lived a very accomplished life but those of you who know her might disagree. She has always upheld that Texas hospitality. Her compassion and motherly instinct has always shown through making her home one of the most pleasant places to visit. Since her husbands passing in December of 2007, Steen has been determined to live each day healthy and happy just as she did while they were together. She feels lucky to have been blessed with a life full of friends and family who can’t get enough of her.