Alester Garden Furman III '39


Al Furman died at his Greenville, SC, home on June 10, 2007.  He is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, Mary Simms Furman, and four daughters, Mary Simms Gregory, Jane Earl Pressley, Alexandra G. Whitley, and Felicia Furman.

After Amherst, where he starred as a football player (running back, kicker, and linebacker), he went on to Harvard for an MBA degree.  Shortly thereafter came WWII, and Al joined the US Marine Corps and saw combat duty in the South Pacific.

After the war, he worked for a short time as treasurer of the Ross Builder’s Supply Co. in Greenville.  In 1947, he joined the family firm of Alester G. Furman, an insurance, investment, and real estate company started by his grandfather.  He stayed with that firm until retirement in 1984.  He served the company in many different positions, the most important being a trustee and chairman of the board.  While with this firm, he provided support and advice to Furman Univ., which had been founded by Al’s great, great, great grandfather.

Al’s memberships included the First Baptist Church of Greenville, the Augusta National Golf Club, the Green Valley Country Club, and the Poinsett and Cotillion Club.

He provided counsel to the United Way of Greenville, the Greenville hospital system, local chambers of commerce, the symphony, the county art association, and many other educational and charitable organizations.  He was also a consultant for Marsh and McLennan until his death.

A close friend remarked, “He was one of the few giants we had left.”

—Henry W. Seeley ’39

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