Running To Remember: Ferrell Family Participates In OKC Memorial Marathon

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is just over three weeks away. We're continuing our special Run to Remember series, talking with participants on every level about why this race means so much to them. So now we introduce you to the Ferrell family. For them, the Memorial Marathon has become a family affair going back four generations.

Wednesday, April 12th 2023, 10:24 pm



-

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is just over three weeks away. We're continuing our special Run to Remember series, talking with participants on every level about why this race means so much to them. So now we introduce you to the Ferrell family. For them, the Memorial Marathon has become a family affair going back four generations.

Susan Jane Ferrell was a lawyer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There’s an Easter Sunday picture with Susie (as her family called her) and young niece and nephew which was taken back in 1995. It was the last big family gathering before Susie was killed in the bombing. That same picture is now on the mantle over the fireplace in Susie's home. 

“She loved this house,” recalls her mother.

Her family now gathers at that house every spring the night before the Memorial Marathon for a big pasta dinner.

“We get together every year, it has just become a celebration of life,” explains Rachel Ashwood, the niece in the picture. “A celebration of our family how much we've overcome. How much the state has overcome.”

When the bombing happened, Susie's sister Cindy was an attorney in Chander.

“I just thought I'm going to drive down there and I'm going to find her. I noticed every blond-haired woman who worked past me,” she recalls.

Cindy's husband Albert was with Emergency Management.

“Working was the easy part. Going home was the hard part because you want to be the bearer of good news. You want to tell them you found our loved one,” he said.

But, Susie didn’t survive.

“It's difficult to realize over the years that there's events that occur in your life that there's a very important person that was never able to be a part of it. That's just a reality that Rachel and I have had to grow up with,” says Susie’s nephew Donald, who was also in the Easter picture.

The family never misses an April 19th remembrance ceremony, and they never miss a memorial marathon.

“We embrace it. We love it. It brings us joy,” says Cindy.  

“One of the most meaningful parts of the whole weekend is the start line when they have 168 seconds of silence with no matter how many thousands and thousands of people who are out there it gets completely silent and you remember why you're there,” adds Rachel. 

At one point or another everyone in the family has run in the race, including Susie's parents. The last time her dad ran he was 85-years-old. Memory boards from all those past races are always on display for that pre-race pasta party.

“It's something we can actually physically do to remember people,” Rachel said. “Remember our loved ones, remember our city. And it's something the whole city stands still for this event. We stop, we remember and it's on a happy note.”            

In recent years the family had this banner made to put up in Edgemere park on race day and Susie's parents now cheer on the runners.

“Every year, no matter how we participate, we're always going to be there,” says Rachel.

“I think Suzie would be so happy about what we are doing she would be so happy that we are celebrating her and each other,” adds Cindy.

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

April 12th, 2023

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024

Top Headlines

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024