Cover photo for Dr. John A. Ferris, Jr., M.D.'s Obituary
1928 Dr. 2022

Dr. John A. Ferris, Jr., M.D.

February 29, 1928 — July 8, 2022

John A. Ferris, Jr. M.D., 94, of Harlingen, went home to be with our Lord and reunite with his loving wife, Sarah, on July 8, 2022.

John was born in Austin, Texas to John A. Ferris, Sr., and Frances White Ferris on February 29, 1928. He graduated from Corpus Christi College Academy in 1945 and during this time was proud to have been an Eagle Scout. John studied Pre-Med at Texas A & I in Kingsville, Texas and then at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1953. While at Tulane, he was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma and Nu Sigma Nu fraternities as well as the History of Medicine Society.

On June 12, 1953, John married the love of his life, Sarah Jane Allen. Thus began a 62-year blessed union full of life, love, children, service, adventure, family, friends, and a highly respectable medical career. Together, John and Sarah brought 10 beautiful children into this world who have given them 38 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.  He was a compassionate and caring doctor, devoted husband, father, and loyal friend, as well as a farmer, cattle owner, hunter, fisherman, golfer, writer, and business owner.

John's medical career began with an internship at Denver General Hospital and his residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He served two years as an Air Force doctor at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. He then moved his family to the Rio Grande Valley and practiced in Rio Hondo and La Feria before settling in Harlingen in 1969 where he continued his medical career at the Valley Diagnostic Clinic. He remained there as one of its leaders until 2000 when he opened his solo practice in Family Medicine that he kept until 2015 culminating his illustrious medical career that spanned well over 50 years.

During this time, John organized volunteer physicians to assist a group of Catholic nuns in the Valley that sought to serve the underserved and uninsured who could not afford to pay for health care. Their efforts were the beginnings of Su Clinica Familiar in 1971 that now serves numerous patients valley-wide. He served as Chief of Staff at Valley Baptist Medical Center from 1976-1978. John also worked at the State Mental Hospital in Harlingen during the latter part of his career. He loved dedicating time and energy as a board member to the Valley Baptist Foundation to further medicine in the Valley while ensuring the legacy of his friends and mentors, Drs. Heinrich and Annie Lamm. The teaching position he held at the Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency Program led by his dear friend and colleague, Dr. Bruce Leibert, was his greatest passion and he loved every minute of it. His medical students and residents, in turn, loved him just as much and always thanked him for the knowledge and experience he so generously imparted.

Aside from medicine, John loved learning new things and he raised cattle, farmed a variety of crops, grew citrus and ran a gift fruit shipping business with Sarah. He was a member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Rotary Club, and Algodon.

In 2014, John published his autobiography, Ferris Wheel: Life and Times of the "Doc".

John was a kind, compassionate doctor who dedicated his life to his family and helping others. His patients had a deep appreciation and respect for him and the care he provided. He demonstrated his devotion to his patients when he was called to aid one of his patients and her family who were in a hostage situation. He responded to the call and heroically offered the gunman something to calm his nerves, saving the lives of the patient, her family, and others at the scene. Our family has truly been blessed to call John our loving father, husband, grandfather, great grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend.

John is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Sarah; his parents, John and Frances Ferris; and his sister, Jeanne McCutchon.

John is survived by his 10 children:  Kaki (Rick) Cole of New Braunfels, John III of Colima, Mexico, Chris of Port Isabel, Tita (Bill) Adams of Harlingen, Paul (Stacey) of Ellensburg, Washington, Beth (Kevin) Quinn of Denver, Colorado, Frank (Becky) of Harlingen, Sarita of Sugar Land, Jeanne (Charles) Schley of Highlands Ranch, Colorado and David (Glenda) of Lewis Center, Ohio; and, 38 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren so far....

Visitation will be at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home on Monday, July 18, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. A recitation of the Holy Rosary will follow at 7:00 p.m. The memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Anthony Catholic Church on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Fr. Amador Garza, Celebrant.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Rio Grande Valley Medical Missions at: RGVMM reaches out to our local community with Christ-centered performing arts projects and performances.

The family wishes to extend our gratitude to Treasure Hills Residential Care-Yvette Cano, Veronica Hernandez, Julie Garcia, Abel Benavidez, Ana Aguilar, and James Duran. Also, Dr. Bruce Leibert and The Family Practice Residency Program and Kindred Hospice for the care, concern, ministry, and love shown for our beloved John. We would also like to thank all our dear friends who have been here for our family with unending love and support. We do so treasure your friendship.

"The righteous man walks with integrity and justice; blessed are his children after him." (Proverbs 20:7)

Click the link below to view a livestream of the Recitation of the Holy Rosary service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. John A. Ferris, Jr., M.D., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, July 18, 2022

5:00 - 6:45 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, Chapel B

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Recitation of the Holy Rosary

Monday, July 18, 2022

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, Chapel A

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Mass

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Private Interment

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