John Furman

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008

John Russell Furman, died on May 27, nearly achieving his goal of living “four score and seven years.”
He was born March 18, 1922, to Grace (Gradert) Furman and Russell A. Furman, in Spirit Lake. John graduated from Iowa State College in Ames in 1947. As a Marine, he served in the Pacific Theatre during WW II and after the Korean conflict. In 1946, John married Patricia Gilchrist and to this union their daughters, Ann and Betsy, were born.
He enjoyed working for Hormel Foods, ending his 35 year career as vice-president. In 1982, he and his wife retired to the family cottage on Lake Okoboji.
John was active in many civic and philanthropic organizations. While in Austin he was a member of the United Church of Christ Congregational, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, treasurer and church moderator. He was the chairman of the Mower County Republicans in 1960. John was instrumental in developing Recreational Opportunities Action Resources (ROAR), serving mentally challenged young adults. In Iowa, he was a volunteer tutor in the local grade school, an active participant in the Lakes Region Rotarians, and an original booster of the University of Okoboji Foundation. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf and was proud of the roses he grew.
He is survived by Pat, his wife of 61 years,Spirit Lake; daughters, Ann (Douglas), Sioux Falls, Betsy (Beth Janke), St. Paul; and four grandchildren, Joe and Allie Esse and Eva and Theo Janke-Furman.
He is preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law, Doug Esse, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Memorials are preferred to Lakeside Laboratory in Wahpeton, Iowa.
His family thanks Lake Park Care Center and Iowa Hospice for the loving care John received. The Schuchert Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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