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Sybil Rae Clarke Ferguson

02/07/1934 - 05/23/2015
Service Date: 06/01/2015
Service Time: 10:00 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ridge Ward, 2220 North Harris, Mesa, Arizona

Sybil Rae Clarke Ferguson, born Feb. 7, 1934, died peacefully in her sleep on May 23, 2015 in her home in Mesa, AZ surrounded by her loving children. She was born in Barnwell, Alberta Canada to A. John and Xarissa Clarke. She was the second of 5 children. At 4 years of age she moved to Provo, Utah where she graduated from Provo High School. Shortly after graduation she married her childhood sweetheart and best friend, Roger Nephi Ferguson, on July 10 1952, in the Manti, Utah Temple. She was preceded in death by Roger after nearly 60 years of marriage.

Her 5 children and posterity of 120 family members are the most important achievements of her life. Although, becoming a citizen of the United States of America in 1974 was a close runner-up.

Sybil enjoyed serving in clubs in her community such as, the Rexburg Civic Club, the Readers Guild Book Club, and the Soroptimists Club; where she was honored as Woman of the Year. She was also a member of the Assistance League of Phoenix, the Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak, and the Scottsdale AZ Boys and Girls Club.

She served on the Board of Ricks College Student Housing, the Ricks College of Business Board, the University of Boise Medical Board, the BYU College of Business Board, Pres. Rex E. Lee’s council at BYU, and was a founding member of the Idaho Community Foundation. She was in Who’s Who of American Women and inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame.

In 1970, she founded The Diet Center Program. She developed a diet where the body received proper nutrition with counseling, instead of counting calories, thus helping others “Win at the Losing Game.” Over the course of the next 15 years, 2600 franchises were sold around the world.

She published two books that were on the New York Times Best Sellers list, as well as being published in many magazines, and appearing on television.

After retiring, she resided in Scottsdale, Arizona where she continued to be active in that community.

Sybil was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many callings. She loved helping others, was an active member of the Utah Pioneers, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Sybil is survived by her children Debra (David) Preece, Michael Ferguson, Wade (Lanell) Ferguson, Lois Webb, Rissa (Eric) Koenig, 28 grandchildren and 65 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Monday, June 1st at 10:00 AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ridge Ward, 2220 North Harris, Mesa AZ 85203. A “Celebration of Life” gathering will be held May 31st, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the same address. Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, Mesa, AZ, 480-696-6883.


  • Kristy Andrews

    I love you Grandma!

  • Rissa, I am so sorry for your loss! We are never ready to be without our parents! I pray you and your family will be comforted now and that you will have peace in the plan of salvation! You are loved by so many! Much love!

  • Bob Liljenquist

    My sincerest condolences to to Ferguson family.

  • David and Patricia Montana

    Aunt Sybil will be missed dearly. Not only was she my aunt but she mentored me with my Diet Center franchise, she believed in me and helped me grow throughout my life. I always knew she loved me which stregnthened my spirit. I am grateful for eternal families and to know I will see her again. My love to the family.

  • Susan Christensen Gundersen

    Sybil is a great lady and friend. She will be missed for her goodness and example. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. She was a wonderful woman and role model for many. She will be greatly missed.

  • Mike and Gail Webster

    Our condolences to your family.

  • Rebecca Grass Johnson

    Sending love to the Ferguson family. I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful woman. God bless you! You are in my prayers.

  • Candy and Terry Zbiegien

    Thinking of you all as you celebrate Sybil’s remarkable life.
    I hope you feel the love your surrounded by .

  • Steve and Merlynn Price

    We will always remember Sybil for her genuine kindness and her laughter. Our kids always loved to go to her house on Halloween. She’s a very wonderful lady. Our condolences to her family.

  • Eric & Linda Bodily & Family

    We are so sorry for your loss. We have many great memories of spending time with your family. Sybil will be missed by many. What a great example she was for those who knew her. My your families find peace and comfort at this time.

  • Rita Jeppesen

    So sorry for your loss! She was amazing! One of the sweetest, kindest women I have ever met. May God bless your family with peace and love.

  • Julie Burgoyne

    Sybil had a great laugh, kind heart, and really cared about others. She was beautiful, inside and out. I had the opportunity on many occasions to visit with her, and Lois, over the past few years…. Sybil was a sweet friend, with a loving heart… she will be missed. My prayers are with her family at this tender time.

  • Jo Rita Nielsen

    Sybil was the first person I met in church when I moved to Scottsdale many years ago! We became fast friends and I adored her! She was a wise, kind, funny, spiritual and generous woman whom I greatly admired! She was a “One of a kind”. I’ll never forget her story of when she gave Roger an ultimatum and left until he came to his senses! Makes me chuckle to think of it!

  • Carlos & Dana Hidalgo

    Wade, Lanell, our deepest condolences to you and your family. Sybil touched many many lives, including ours.
    We love you.

  • Rosemary Yost

    She was such an important part of my life, I loved her like a sister, I am so very sorry for your loss, the world is losing a beautiful soul

  • Ricki Burleigh

    Sybil was such an inspiration to me, ever so kind. I will never forget Sybil.

  • Aurora Gonzalez

    My condolences to the family, Sybil was a great. Woman, i met her in one of her meeting, in Rexburg Idaho! When she first started her foundation. RIP Sybil you’ll be greatly Miss !

  • My deepest condolences to the family, may you find comfort in prayer and the beautiful words of Isaiah 25:8 and Rev. 21:4 where God promises us that He will soon cease all death and suffering.

  • Brad & Julianne Shaw

    Without a doubt, Sybil was one of the most wonderful and special people we’ve ever known, and working with her was an honor and a joy. We are deeply saddened to learn of her passing, but are so very grateful for her multitude of kindnesses and for her wonderful and accomplished life.

  • Dick and Kathy Romney

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We know Sybil will be missed but think of the joyous reunions that have and are taking place. She was a wonderful lady.

  • Kind, gracious, loving and a Great Lady! These are the words which come to mind, when remembering Sybil. She was my visiting teacher for many years, and those visits were always the highlight of my week! The world is a better place because of Sybil. She will be missed by many. Our loving thoughts and prayers to her family.

  • Billy and Sharon Christensen

    What a wonderful lady and friend Sybil was. We will never know the bounds of her far-reaching influence and generosity. Her time on earth was well spent. It was our blessing to have known her and her family. As her descendants you may well be proud of the heritage she left. May God Bless you!

  • Trent and Tami Christensen

    Dear Lois, Wade, Rissa, Mike, Debbie, and Family, we offer our most sincere condolences at the passing of your mother. i have found memories of her being a wonderful, kind person. I know she made a huge impact in life for the betterment of many. I am sure she will continue to do the same through the eternities. We offer our prayers and thoughts at this time. Trent and Tami

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation. Kind, gracious, loving and a Great Lady! These are the words which come to mind, when remembering Sybil. She was my visiting teacher for many years, and those visits were always the highlight of my week! The world is a better place because of Sybil. She will be missed by many. Our loving thoughts and prayers to her family. Reply – See more at: http://www.bunkerfuneral.com/obituaries/ferguson-sybil-rae-clarke/#sthash.EAtCdlMb.dpuf

  • Connie Christensen Anderson

    I have fond memories of Sybil, especially when the family lived in the home on Main street in Rexburg. She was kind and caring to a bunch of giggling girls who would swarm into her kitchen door with Lois. I appreciate her love, welcome advice, warm laughter, and gentle ways. I remember “packing pill bottles” in the basement, when Diet Center was in it’s infancy, where she always greeted me with a radiant smile. Sybil was a great example of a real lady. She will be missed by many.

  • Max and Vickie Crouch

    A great Lady! Our thoughts, prayers and love to you and your family! I have never met and kinder more generous, gracious lady in all my travels. She was liked and loved by us all and everyone.

  • Dane H. Watkins

    Dear Ferguson Family,
    I want to send our sincere condolences on the recent passing of your mother Sybil. She will be missed by all who knew her. She was a great person and her outstanding accomplishments and service for our community and our country will always be remembered.
    Dane & Sherry Watkins

  • Barbara McKnight

    I would love to hear from any of Sybil’s children.. I did not know she had passed on until the Christmas card I sent her this year (2016) was returned. I did not sent cards last year because life got in the way. Sybil was special to me. Her birthday was on the date we got engaged Feb 7th and she passed on on my father’s birthday 23 May so I will keep thinking fondly of her. I was one of the first few I think maybe 29th or so to purchase a franchise for Diet Center from her. Our oldest son Tim, went to BYU and was majoring in human nutrition and instead of coming home to Columbus, Ohio for spring break he went to Rexburg and took the week long class that was offered to Diet Center Counselors. Sybil and Roger gave our son a $1,000 scholarship to help with his tuition at BYU. He ended up getting his PHD in Human Nutrition at Ohio State University and then went on to medical school and is now a Family Practice MD and he gives “Fit for Life” classes in his community and and surrounding areas. Several years ago he was invited to the Whitehouse to share the information of his teaching these classes. A lot of the things he teaches in his classes go right along with what Sybil taught when she started Diet Center. So she has had a long lasting effect on his life and the lives of people in the north eastern Ohio.

    Sybil was also a huge help to a young girl from my ward that went to Rick’s college. This girl Gail, was one of the older ones in a large family of 10 or so children. Gail had to work to be able to attend school. I remember Sybil telling me that if she could ever do anything to help I should give her a call. I remember this young 19 year old girl calling me, crying and telling me she had to quit her job working for a potato farmer because he was getting fresh with her and he scared her. I called Sybil and asked her if she could find a job for Gail. Sybil asked me to call her brother Jack Clarke, who worked with the business and he would take care of it. Jack had Gail come to his office and he offered her a job at the Pharmacy Company. I also remember when I came out for my original training with the company it was February and Sybil had me train with a lady named Rosemary from Idaho Falls. Sybil and Roger came up to meet me there and they left her Cadillac for me to drive up to Rexburg to meet the staff etc. The day I was to drive up the weather was nasty and she called and told me to be safe and not drive up. I also remember that several years later I did get to train at the Diet Center School and it was after the flood and she had purchased a place that had been flooded and built a place for counselors to stay while we were there. Sybil called me one evening and asked me to meet her outside and not tell the other counselor’s she was coming over. She picked me up in her car and drove me around Rexburg and showed me the damage that the flood had done and the marks on the buildings from the water. Sybil then took me to her home and we parked in the garage and walked in through the kitchen and she got each of us a can of Diet Pepsi and we sat in her living room and visited. That evening Rissa was home and answered the phone and told Sybil that she had a long distance call and Sybil told her to tell the caller to call back because she had company. That made me feel really important. The caller called back serveal times and she repeated she had company. The next day at the training school Sybil and the dietitian came into the class and announced that she had received a call last night telling her that her book had been accepted by Brown publishing company. I also remember when we had Sybil come to Columbus, Ohio for a seminar here, she visited my humble Diet Center location and I will not forget that I was so excited to have her here that, that day I wore my high heels as usual, but I happened to wear the same color but two different heights of heals. I was so excited I had not noticed it and I was not limping at all. I guess I am sharing some great personal memories of a very special lady who knew how to make the average person feel very special. I still keep in touch with some of my former dieters one special lady lost 173 pounds and was featured in a magazine. This lady has still kept off the weight after all these years 35 years or so. I feel so privileged to have known Sybil and to have been able to call her my friend. Hugs to all who loved her. Barbara McKnight
    6321 Alissa Lane
    Columbus, Ohio 43213

  • Marilyn Gillispie partlow

    I am so sorry to get the news that my best friend, Sybil Ferguson has passed I was one of her franchise oweners, and that was the most wonderful part of my life, Sybil thought me a lot and she was the most wonderful and down to earth person that you would ever wwsmtbto meet, such s lovly lady, she felt like acsister to me. I just found out yesterday about her passing, I would like to have her brother Jack Clark to call me if he would ( 614-5708625 or 614-668-4670, I have something he might like to have. I also went to Rexburg Idaho school for the training to be one of the many franchise center in Ohio and I loved it. This is the best program that you will ever find, I just wish I could do it again, and i enjoyed all the conventions that we went to in the USA . Sybil has the most wonderful and caring family that you would ever want to meet, I am So So sorry for your loss, andbo fell the loss also, sorry I did not know about this sooner obwould have sent flowers.
    I can remember when Sybil would send poinsettias to every Deie Centers at Christmas time, one last thing my son also went to the school in Rexburg Idaho and was a counselor at my centers and everyone loved him.
    Well again I am so sorry to hear of the loss of this great Lovely Lady, she was my ideal
    But she will always be in our hearts, God Bless you ALL

  • Being a counselor at Diet Center was best yrs of my life. Meeting sybil Ferguson at a seminar was such a joy. Bless her and condolences to her family.

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