Furman Huffman

Obituary of Furman J Huffman

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Furman Johnathan Huffman, 85, passed away peacefully at his home in the presence of his family on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Born July 18, 1937, to Marguerite Alvera Haugh and Percy Furman Huffman, he was raised in Summerville, PA, with his two sisters, Martha "Sis" (Faulk) and Elizabeth "Betty" (White), and his two brothers, Arnold "Arnie" and Percy "Paul." Furman, who was known to all as "Dick," graduated from Summerville High School in 1956. Growing up, he loved to fish, hunt, and play basketball. In the late 1950s, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed on the newly commissioned U.S.S. Ranger aircraft carrier as an Aviation Structural Mechanic (Hydraulic) specialist for Attack Squadron 145 in the Western Pacific fleet. He maintained the hydraulic systems, including landing gear, brakes, and flight controls. He was proud to have served in the U.S. Navy between 1956 and 1962, earning a Good Conduct Award in 1959. While home on leave, he attended a local dance where he met Lulu Jean Knarr of Punxsutawney, PA. They married on May 25, 1963, and then moved to West Chester, PA, to pursue Dick's aspirations of starting his own arborist business. Around the same time, he also took a job at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and would later become the foreman of a crew based in Uwchlan Township. He maintained the roads, cleared snow, removed down trees, often working long days and wintery nights in service to the community. Dick and Lu eventually moved to Downingtown Borough. There, they raised their three children, Terri (b. 1966), Richard (b. 1970) and Mark (b. 1975). Life was good. Together, they enjoyed attending the kids' sports, concerts, marching band competitions, musicals, and spending the summer visiting their families back in Summerville and Punxsutawney. In his free time, Dick enjoyed having coffee with his neighbors, sitting down to Sunday family dinners, going hunting with his brothers, traveling north to go fishing, taking pictures of life, watching the Phillies, fixing things in his workshop, and chatting with practically everyone he met. Over time, his family grew through the celebration of marriages and births. He welcomed Terri's husband Jim Sheffer in 1994; Rich's wife Lisa Subers in 1999; and Mark's wife Linda Mattia in 2008. He became a grandfather – and affectionately known as "Chippy" – with the arrival of Victoria "Tori" Sheffer (b. 1998), and then he was blessed three more times with the births of Jamie Sheffer (b. 2003), Devin Huffman (b. 2004), and Kendall Huffman (b. 2007). Throughout his life, Dick worked hard. He provided for his family, making sure Lu and the kids had the opportunities that he never experienced. He lived a simple life, perfectly content to wear old flannel shirts and dusty work boots. He rarely splurged on himself, although he enjoyed dressing sharp on occasion. He was always ready to lend a hand to his children when they needed help renovating their homes, taking down trees, or moving into a new house. He was the heavy lifter. He was reliable and showed up for his family every time. Sadly, Dick lost Lu to cancer in 2000 after 47 years of marriage. In early 2001, he retired from PennDOT after 37 years, but continued to work as a tree trimmer for another decade. During this time, he enjoyed watching his grandchildren explore their talents in musicals, recitals, sports, and concerts. He continued to reside in Downingtown until Mark and Linda invited him to live with them (and their many pups) in 2015. While there, he was instantly welcomed into Linda's big family who gave him opportunities to socialize and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals again. In the last few years, he required daily nursing care. In particular, the family thanks Michelle Heppard for her attentiveness and patience, and caring for him as if he was a member of her own family. He passed away at home with love all around him. In addition to his children and grandchildren, Dick is survived by his sister Betty and his brother Paul. He is also survived by sisters- and brothers-in-laws and more than 20 nieces and nephews from both sides of his family. He was preceded in death by his wife and his parents, as well as his sister Sis, and his brother Arnie. The Viewing and Services will take place on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at the McCausland-Garrity Marchesani Funeral Home. The Viewing will begin at 11:15 am. The Service will follow at 12:15 pm. The address is 343 S. Chester Pike, Glenolden, PA 19036. Following the service, Dick will be laid to rest next to Lu at the Northwood Cemetery. The address is 201 W. Uwchlan Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Guests are invited to join the family for a meal following the ceremony. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation at www.safeharborfoundation.org in Dick's memory. When filling out the form please write In Memory of Furman Dick Huffman in the comment field.
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