Frank Hays Furman, Jr. ’49

Frank Hays Furman, Jr., 93, of Pompano Beach, Florida went home to be with the Lord early Sunday morning, May 17, 2020.

Furman was born on November 5, 1926, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Helena (Pond) and Frank Hays Furman, Sr. He married Martha Jane Bird on December 8, 1951.

He was a very giving man of great faith. He deeply loved his Lord, his family, his insurance family, and his community and was actively involved in and provided leadership to numerous church, community, education, and business organizations.

Furman was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Jean Furman Dart. He is survived by his wife, Martha Jane; his sister, Betty Ann Furman McKenzie; three children, June Michel (Bruce) of San Antonio, Texas, Jane DeJong (Dirk) of Lighthouse Point, Florida, and John Furman (Erin) of Pompano Beach, Florida; six grandchildren, Matthew Michel, Drew Michel, Douglas DeJong, Allison Sorenson (DeJong), Frank Lee Furman, and Robert Furman; and three great-grandchildren, Claire Michel, Corinne Michel, and Stella Sorenson.

Furman graduated from Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Economics. He served his country as a member of the Army-Air Force, participating in World War II from 1944 to 1947.

He continued as member of the Reserve, returning to active duty in the Korean conflict from 1950 to 1951 and received an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1954 with the rank of Lieutenant.

Furman served as Chairman and Executive Officer of Frank H. Furman, Inc., a general insurance agency, which he founded on September 1, 1962, until his retirement in 2012.

He built the agency on a foundation of customer service, trust, and giving back to the community. Under his leadership the agency grew to be one of the largest and most respected independent insurance agencies in the southeast.

He served as mentor to many and in numerous leadership roles within the insurance industry, including Chairman of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. Furman received numerous business awards, including the prestigious Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award, which recognized his lifetime of leadership, integrity, and service to the insurance industry.

Furman served as President of the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce and on three advisory committees to the City of Pompano Beach: the Budget Committee, the Charter Committee, and the Economic Development Council.

He had a strong commitment to education, resulting in considerable advancement in the re-establishment of Pompano Beach High School and in the expansion of the Blanche Ely High School campus. In 2007, the City of Pompano Beach recognized his volunteer contributions and named Furman the Citizen of the Year.

Furman was a founding Board member of the Florida Shores Bank, which is now Centennial Bank. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of John Knox Village for 31 years and was Chairman of the Board for 25 of those years.

During his tenure, John Knox achieved national accreditation and was recognized as one of the best retirement communities in the United States.

Furman was a Trustee of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida for 30 years. In 1994 he became Chairperson of the Finance Committee and in 2000 Furman was elected Vice Chairperson of the Trustees and Chairperson of the Trustee Executive Committee.

In December 2002, Florida Southern College awarded Furman an honorary Doctorate for Public Service in recognition of his 40 years of public service to the community, to the college, and to the United Methodist Church.

Furman was very active in the United Methodist Church at the local, district, state, region, and national levels. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Pompano Beach and served as an usher from the start of his church membership in 1956 to the present.

He also served as President of the United Methodist Men’s local chapter, Chairperson of the Administrative Board, Chairperson of the Staff-Parish Committee, Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and Chairperson of the Education Committee.

In the Broward-Palm Beach District of the United Methodist Church, Furman served for 30 years on the District Committee on Mission and Church Extension. In addition, he served as a Trustee, member of the District Counsel of Ministries, and other various appointments by the District Superintendent.

Furman was elected a delegate to the Florida United Methodist Church Annual Conference in 1963 and was present at every Annual Conference for the next 43 years.

He served as Conference Lay Leader from 1976 to 1980, Chairperson of the Business Advisory Committee from 1980 to1984, member of the Florida Methodist Foundation Board of Directors from 1980 to 1988, and Secretary of the Health Subcommittee of the Conference Board of Pensions from 1968 to 1976. Furman was an ex-officio member of the Annual Conference Council on Finance and Administration Executive Committee from 1980 to 2004.

Furman was selected to represent the Florida Annual United Methodist Church Conference eight times at the Jurisdictional Conference and seven times at the General Conference. During that time he participated in the legislative areas of church discipleship, church administration, and church financial management. Furman was a member of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Council of the United Methodist Church located at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

For more than 50 years, the family enjoyed summer vacations at the lake. But Furman was never one to fully take time off and spent much of his time at the lake engaged in leadership activities and meetings.

For the Council, he served as a member of the Finance Committee, Co-Chairman of the Development Committee, Chairman of the Building Committee, and retired as Vice President of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Administrative Council in 2004.

General Conference activities at the national level included member of the General Board of Discipleship and the General Council on Finance and Administration from 1988 to 1996.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a memorial service for Frank Hays Furman, Jr. will be held at a later date when family members and friends are able to travel and gather together to celebrate his life.

Memorial donations can be made to John Knox Village, the Lake Junaluska Assembly, or to Christ Church in Fort Lauderdale.