Carnations 4
Official Obituary of

Mrs. Constance J. (Mama Iyaluua) Ferguson

June 29, 1932 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Mrs. Constance J. Ferguson Obituary

Constance J. Swan Ferguson

~Mama Iyaluua~

Constance J. Swan Ferguson, 91, of Cary, NC passed away peacefully on the morning of February 27, 2024.  

Constance was born on June 29, 1932, to Chieftain Swan and Mary Koch in Brooklyn, NY; where she grew up with her brother and sisters: Clarence, Julia, Myra, and Gloria, surrounded by a close knit and loving extended family. In October of 1949, Constance married her first husband, Thomas W. Hicks, and they had two children, Deidre & Verna.  

In 1965 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hunter College and began a lifelong career as an educator. Upon graduation, Constance began working at PS 40, where she met her partner and confidant Herman Ferguson. Together they actively struggled against racism in the public schools of New York City.  After Herman’s arrest in 1967 she organized a defense committee for Herman and other members of the Black Brotherhood Improvement Association. It was also her responsibility to calm the fear and confusion of the children in PS 40.  

In 1972 she joined Herman Ferguson while in exile in Guyana, South America. They married on June 29, 1972. Under the alias, Iyaluua, she continued her passion and concern for the education of young people. She served as the Executive Editor of the Guyana National Service Publishing Center, writing, editing, and publishing educational materials for the schools and training materials for the Guyana National Service.  

Upon Herman’s return from exile, she continued her career as a NYC teacher, and was catapulted into the arena of political work – first struggling for Herman’s release, then as a staunch advocate for the release of all political prisoners. As a member of the Malcom X Commemoration Committee, she initiated and spearheaded the Dinner Tribute to the families of Political Prisoners in the New York area. Iyaluua also initiated and coordinated the essay contest “The Legacy of Malcom X – Its Meaning and Its Message” – held annually in the schools of NYC and Newark. Iyaluua also served proudly as the Editor of the quarterly digest, Nation Time, for 10 years. The newspaper that was extremely popular amongst our incarcerated brothers and sisters as it became their link to the struggle both outside and inside the walls.  

In July 2009 Iyaluua retired with her husband in North Carolina. Constance (Mama Iyaluua) is predeceased by her husband, Herman Ferguson, parents, Chieftain Swan and Mary Koch, her brother and sisters, Clarence, Julia, Myra, and Gloria, and her daughter, Verna Turner-Magbie. She leaves to cherish her precious memories and mourn her passing her daughter, Deidre Marie Hicks of Cary; son-in-law, Paul Magbie of Holly Springs, Son-in-laws, Michael Ferguson (Lavern) and Mark Ferguson of New York; daughters-in-law, Connie Ferguson and Jackie Ferguson of California; 10 grandchildren including: Karima Blaize of Cary, Hassan Turner of West Virginia, T.R. Greene (Jacqui) of Chapel Hill and Tiffany Greene of Maryland, Paul Magbie, Jr. (Niesha) of West Virginia;13 great grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.

Services will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, 2 PM, at The Steven L. Lyons Funeral Home, located at 1515 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27610, with Jarrett Blaize, giving the Eulogy.

Special thanks and acknowledgement given to Solwazi Afi Olusola for the photo displayed on this obituary page.  

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Memorial Service
March 9, 2024

2:00 PM
Steven L Lyons Funeral Home
1515 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27610


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