Richard Mayer Furman
August 14, 1925 - December 30, 2011
Richard Mayer Furman, age 86, of Montrose, Colorado, a most special man who not only loved his family, but, wherever he lived, used his skills toward the betterment of his community, died in Montrose, from Parkinson's disease complications. Richard was born August 14, 1925 in New York City to Thomas Burford Furman and Hertha (Mayer) Furman. He was predeceased by his older brother, Thomas Burford Furman Jr. in 2005.
Richard enlisted in the Naval Air Corps at age 17 to become a pilot, but, following a back injury sustained while in the Naval Officer Training School at the Univ. of North Carolina, he entered the Navy as a Seaman First Class. He received training in electronics and soon earned the rating of Electrician's Mate Third Class on a landing craft (LTC) in Guam. Honorably discharged in 1946, he resumed his college education and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1949 with a BS in Physics. He was a multi-talented athlete, an award-winning lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park, a member of the SLU varsity wrestling team, a tennis player, and a scuba diver.
In February 1949, he began a long and successful career with the IBM Corporation in New York City, starting as a Customer Engineer soon known for his keen problem-solving skills and his ability to fix what other Customer Engineers could not. On January 28, 1950 he married his college sweetheart, Adrienne (Andi). Richard held a variety of positions within IBM on the East Coast before transferring to the General Products Division in San Jose, California in 1963. At GPD he managed the Test Laboratory and later became Technical Operations Manager.
Richard will forever be remembered by family and friends as a gentle-spirited, kind, clear-thinking man with a wry wit, one who was devoted to his wife and children and who treated others with care and respect. He was an exquisite problem-solver and craftsman who always looked forward to the next challenge while never boasting of his many amazing accomplishments. In addition to furniture-making and refinishing, he built three boats: a rowing dory, a scuba-diving boat by transforming a WW II landing craft, and a 33 ft commercial salmon trawler. Upon his retirement, he served as Assistant Project Manager of the Historical Trolley Restoration Project at the San Jose Historical Museum, restoring six antique trolleys for the city of San Jose. After settling in Montrose, Richard volunteered at the library, built ten houses for Habitat for Humanity in Montrose and Olathe, and helped develop and enhance the Museum of the Mountain West over the last decade of his life.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Andi, daughter Melissa (Pies), sons Burford and Jonathan, and five grandchildren. Honoring Richard's wishes, his body will be cremated and no funeral services held.
Donations may be made in his memory to: Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090 N. 12th St, Unit B, Grand Junction, CO 81506, or Friends of the Montrose Library, 320 S.2nd St., Montrose, CO 81401, or the Museum of the Mountain West, 68169 E. Miami Rd. Montrose, CO 81401. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, Montrose, Co.