Mike Ferri, retired postmaster and pillar of community, dies

Mike Ferri

Mike Ferri

MARYSVILLE – Mike Ferri, a retired longtime Marysville postmaster and pillar in the community whose year-round community service with the Kiwanis Club shined brightest during the holidays, passed away on Tuesday.

He was 71.

Ferri died of congestive heart failure after a months-long battle to regain his strength, health and get back on his feet again.

For friends and those in Marysville who worked with Ferri, they called him a kind-hearted and caring leader who went above and beyond in community service, giving selflessly to make the lives of others better, especially youth and families.

City Councilman Tom King served with Ferri for 26 years in the Marysville Kiwanis Club.

“Mike always had the Marysville community in his best interest and it was reflected in his dedication and hard work,” King said.

Parks, Culture and Recreation Director Tara Mizell became friends with Ferri and his wife, Elaine, through the myriad city recreational activities that they and Kiwanis were a part of, as well as through the key role he played in the annual All-City Food and Toy Drive and toy store which Mizell coordinated outside her job.

Ferri over the past 15 years oversaw the Marysville Community Food Bank’s 100 red barrels placed at stores, businesses and offices around town to collect food and toys during the holiday months for families in need. He also served on the toy store’s executive board.

Through Kiwanis, he helped organize and participate in some of the parks department’s most popular community events, including the annual Youth Fishing Derby and Pancake Breakfast at Kiwanis Pond in Jenning Park, the Father-Daughter Valentines Dances, Mother-Son Superhero Dances, providing popcorn for the Popcorn in the Park summer outdoor movie series, and food at Touch-A-Truck and the Merrysville for the Holidays winter celebration, among other venues.

Mayor Jon Nehring honored the Ferris as Volunteers of the Month in 2013 for their contributions. In 2018, Ferri was presented with the Kiwanian of the Year Award for all his hard work and contributions, and inducted into the Kiwanis Legion of Honor in 2018 for 35 years of distinguished service.

Mizell said Mike will be deeply missed.

“He left an incredible legacy of giving back to the community and its young people,” she said. “He was a thoughtful and caring man who lived a true life of service. He was devoted to his family. His passing will leave a huge void in our community but his mentoring of so many will keep his spirit alive in Marysville.”

Michael Sam Ferri was born in Dec. 22, 1947 in Yakima to the late Luciana del Rosso Ferri and the late Salvador “Sam” Louis Ferri. Mike attended Marquette High School in Yakima and Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

He and his wife, Elaine were married for 38 years. Quite a feat, she said, considering that they met on a blind date. When they married, the childless Mike became an instant father to Tracie, Trina and Tiffany.

Ferri retired as postmaster in Marysville in 2004 after 36 years.

He also served on the city’s Civil Service Commission, and both were active in the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

Mike was passionate about Italian food, wisdom, travel and music. His mother was an opera singer, and that evolved his love for Rossini. But he collected all types of music, from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles and Chicago. Lifetime memories include seeing Sinatra perform live in Las Vegas, and a trip to Italy to visit his ancestral homeland in Tuscany.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife, Elaine; brothers John (Kathy) Ferri of Mattawa, Tony (Brenda) Ferri of Yakima; daughters Tracie (Rick) Wurlitzer of Bellevue, Trina (Chris) Wagenblast of Newcastle and Tiffany Gentry in New York; grandchildren Chelsea and Braden Wurlitzer in California, Hannah and Rachel Wagenblast in Newcastle; nieces Luciana and Serafina Ferri of Yakima, Anna Puchany in Oregon and extended family whom he loved deeply.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in Michael’s name to the Marysville Kiwanis Foundation Those who wish may donate in Michael’s name to the Kiwanis Club Foundation of Marysville, P.O. Box 101, Marysville, WA 98270.

A memorial service honoring Mike will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 27 in Yakima at the Keith and Keith Funeral Home, 902 W. Yakima Ave. A celebration of life will be held in Marysville at a later date in spring.

More in News

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading

Briefly

Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

City of Arlington carries out operational changes to encourage social distancing

ARLINGTON – The city has made a series of operational changes in… Continue reading