- "On motion of Representative Pat Montgomery and Representative Steve Holland, on February 1, 2007, the Mississippi House of Representatives adjourned in memory of Mr. Marion Hansell 'John' Furr. We are deeply saddened by your loss and extend to you and your family our heartfelt condolences." Signed, William J. (Billy) McCoy, Speaker
TUPELO - Marion Hansell "John" Furr died on Jan. 28, 2007, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. Mr. Furr was born Dec. 22, 1923, in Aberdeen to Dr. Esta Furr and Lottie Winnafred Hansell. He married Pearl Grey Canterbury in Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Baltimore, Md., on April 13, 1946. He was a bit of a nomad, having moved 33 times in his lifetime; however, as he once wrote, "home has always been where mother was. She was and is the glue that held it all together." Prior to his recent illness, he and his wife lived in a cottage at Traceway Methodist Retirement Community in Tupelo. To attend Sunflower Junior College (now Mississippi Delta Community College) after high school in 1941, he sold a cow, received work and band scholarships, milked cows, worked on a farm, rang the class change bell, and was the college postmaster. When he graduated in December 1943 with an A.A. degree in pre-med and music, the school owed him $120. He entered the University of Mississippi in January 1943 but withdrew in March to fulfill active duty orders from the Army. He then began a 23-year military career, first as an enlisted soldier in the Army and later as an officer in the Air Force. As an enlisted soldier, he was a rifleman, anti-tank gunner (30 and 60 mm), medical corpsman, orthopedic specialist, clinical laboratory technician, payroll clerk, pharmacist, personnel clerk and clinical laboratory instructor. Receiving a direct commission during the Korean War as a clinical laboratory officer, he became a hospital administrator, retiring in 1966 as a major. From 1966 to 1969, he was Director of Administration and Finance for Middle Eastern operations of Commonwealth Services International Inc., at Dhahran International Airport, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. He returned to the University of Mississippi in 1970, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education in May 1971, a MeD in June 1972, and, as he liked to call it, an ABD (all but dissertation) in Educational Administration in May 1974. From 1977 to 1989, he was a math teacher at Tupelo High School. He then retired "to spend full-time caring for and supporting the star and light of my life and mother of our children." Active in church and community, he helped organize and launch the Pontotoc County Habitat for Humanity and was a tutor for Central Alabama Laubach Literacy Council in Montgomery. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Wesley United Methodist Church. W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, William Frazier Furr, who was killed in action in Germany in World War II, and Dr. Richard Theron Furr of Ocean Springs, who died Oct. 19, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Pearl, and four children, Mary Louise Furr and her husband, Felix Charles DiPalma Jr., of Texas, William Frazier Furr and his wife, Martha, of Montgomery, Ala., Joseph Patrick Furr and his wife, Dorothy, of Great Falls, Mont., and Elizabeth Anne "Libby" Furr of Oxford. He is also survived by his brother, the Reverend Esta Stanley Furr of Tupelo, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and eight nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Forests Katrina ReLeaf Fund (http://www.americanforests.org or P.O. Box 2000, Washington DC 20013).