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D: 2019-10-23
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B: 1948-04-11
D: 2019-10-20
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Furniss, James
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880 Hopmeadow Street
P.O. Box 335
Simsbury, CT 06070
Phone: 860-658-7613
Fax: 860-651-0476
James Furniss

James Mark Furniss

April 11, 1948 - October 20, 2019
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James Markel “Mark” Furniss died peacefully at home on Sunday, October 20, 2019 with his family around him and the morning light streaming through the golden woods visible from his window. Mark loved getting lost in a book, spending long hours outside, and sharing these pleasures with his wife Nancy; those who love him will think of him whenever they encounter simple beauty in their everyday life.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, his daughter, Meg, his siblings, Tom, Connie, and Phil, and many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined. Any donations in his name can be made to McLean Hospice, 75 Great Pond Road, Simsbury, CT 06070. Please visit Mark’s “Book of Memories” at for online tributes.
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Rachel Avenick

Posted at 05:13pm
My condolences, Mrs. Furniss and Meg. I'm very sorry for your loss. Mr. Furniss was one of my high school English teachers (11th grade) and also my tennis coach as a 9th grader. Mr. Furniss had high expectations, but never put pressure on. Somehow, he made doing good work (or striving for it) seem worth it for the process, not just the outcome. The glint in his eyes, ready smile, and willingness to talk and share his perspective are what I remember best.

Philip Duguay

Posted at 09:21am
Dr. Furniss, as I always referred to Mark, was the type of teacher who treated me as an adult at the age of 15 when I was in his class. He did not pull any punches in terms of his insights, criticisms and observations. He was also understanding, patient, FUNNY and so very human! Studying English lit years later in university I felt a barrier between my professors and I -- they had been outclassed by my high school teacher. After a couple of semesters I chose to major in history instead, went on to pursue my legal studies and to work in the energy sector. Still, I think of Mark every time an 'archetypal' character comes past me in life. I think of how when my sister was horribly injured in a car crash, Mark let me write poetry about the incident in lieu of a formal writing assignment we were supposed to hand in at the time. He critiqued the poetry and gave me an 'A'. His classroom also proved to be a safe place on campus, where students could quietly share lots of emotions. I have vivid memories of some exchanges that I will not share here, because they are not mine to share. That was such a rare thing in our 'institutional' setting.

If we had been closer in age and in different circumstances in life, we would have been friends. But I will be forever grateful that I had him as a teacher, and knew him to be a wonderful man.

I offer very sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Philip Duguay
Montreal, QC

Pierre Bédard

Posted at 09:04pm
Mark, PEI will not be the same without you.
Pierre et Douglas

Charlie Farrow

Posted at 12:31pm
Dear Connie and members of Mark’s family.
I remember Mark well. We played on a summer baseball team whose games were on the field behind Hall High School. The coach was Joe Testa. Some of us, in our immaturity, called him “Yogi.”
Other players included Tommy McCormack, Billy Lacey, Rick Moyle, and Neil Jaffee. mark’s obituary sounds just like the person we played baseball with.
I send condolences from those long ago boys of summer.
Charlie Farrow

James m tabor

Posted at 11:16am
Mark was a high school classmate who was the personification of excellence in everything he did—athletics, academics, and friendships. I often thought of him in times of challenge, and evoking his strength and fortitude always helped me make good choices in life. I’m saddened by his passing but so very glad I had the privilege of knowing him and counting him a friend. He was one of the superb few who leave lasting marks. Thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.

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