Frederick James Furness (Fred)
Born May 17th, 1940. Passed away August 29th 2016.
Fred grew up in Owen Sound and was the first son of George and Molly Furness and a brother to Doug and Ted. His first job was delivering the Owen Sound Sun Times.
Fred attended Hillcrest and Dufferin Schools and graduated from the O.S.C.V.I. in 1960. He attended Stratford Teachers’s College and began his teaching career at Ryerson Public School teaching grade six. He worked on his B.A. degree all the while he was working and spent seven summers at Waterloo University. Fred enjoyed his career and loved to teach. He was a well respected teacher and mentor and fondly remembered by peers.
In 1967, Fred opened the new Sydenham Central School and was principal for 11 years. He exchanged with a West Hill Secondary School V.P. for one year to give Stu O’Keefe experience in the public school system, then moved to Alexandra School for five years, Strathcona Junior High for eight years and finished his career at Bayview School after four years as principal.
Fred married his high school sweetheart, Styn de Will in December 1962. He was father of four wonderful children: Steven, Mary, Heather and Jennifer. He was father-in-law to Petal, Paul, Rob, and Steve. He was Grandpa Fred to ten grand children, two step grandsons, two great grand children and two step grand children. The ‘Farm’ was purchased in 1973 and it was a great place for raising a family and gathering of extended family and friends.
In his retirement, Fred was not idle and he gave endless hours to Festival of Northern Lights; the O.S.C.V.I. auditorium project; contributed to the Sydenham Township History book in 1998; Ducks Unlimited; Scenic City Order of Good Cheer; Community Foundation Grey Bruce; The Eva Leflar Foundation; Owen Sound Homecoming 2007, as Chair; Olympic Torch Run 2009, as Chair; Y’s Men Club; Returning Officer in 2003 and for four elections; taught Sunday School and held many positions at the Division Street United. He also belonged to a Wednesday night cycling group for over 20 years.
Fred was honoured by the Bluewater School Baord in 2000 as outstanding volunteer for his work on the O.S.C.V.I. auditorium and in 2003, Fred and Styn received the Volunteer of the Year Award.
He gave to his community as he felt it was a wonderful place to live.
Fred also spent time discovering Canada, USA and parts of England and Europe. He cycled around Amsterdam in 2003 and along the Danube River in Austria in 2006. He explored around Yuma, Arizona and parts of Florida where he spent some winter months.
Fred had almost 20 years of healthy retirement and only a year and a half of health issues. His Esophageal cancer was discovered in January of 2014. He had great faith and strength and fought courageously until the end.