ShareThis Page

Buffalo Township optometrist devoted his life to helping others

| Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

Whether it was in his occupation as an eye doctor, as a township supervisor or as a volunteer in community organizations, Dr. Cecil Furer spent much of his life helping others.

"He cared more about others than himself. That's the one thing I can always say about my Dad," his eldest son, Jason Furer, 37, of Freeport, said Sunday. "He always cared about others. He always cared about serving his community."

Dr. Cecil D. Furer of Buffalo Township died Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011, at Good Samaritan Hospice unit at Concordia at Cabot from stomach cancer. He was 63.

Dr. Furer was born in Natrona Heights and graduated from Freeport High School in 1966. He graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1970 and received a doctorate from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1974.

Dr. Furer owned and operated the Eye Care Center in Freeport for 34 years, and had locations in Kiski, Kittanning and New Kensington. He served as president of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.

Jason Furer said he couldn't count how many mission trips his father made to places such as Haiti, Mexico and Guatemala, for which he collected glasses to distribute and where he did eye exams for the needy.

Dr. Furer served three six-year terms as a Buffalo Township supervisor, from 1980 to 1998. Jason Furer said his father was proud of his accomplishments in office, including the development of the Butler-Freeport Rails to Trails and getting public water service to the area.

Supervisor Al Roenigk, who started on the board six months before Dr. Furer in 1979, remembers Dr. Furer and his family working to clear the trail.

Opponents battled the trail with lawsuits.

"At that time, nobody really knew how it was going to turn out when it was in court," Roenigk said. "We were being personally sued. It would've been easy to give up, but he didn't."

Public water ran into opposition as well.

"He was not afraid to stick his neck out and do what he thought was right," Roenigk said. "It was always for the good of the township or whatever organization he was with."

Dr. Furer was a member of Trinity United Christian Church in Lower Burrell, where he served as an elder and was chairman of the building committee.

He was active in community organizations in Freeport including Kiwanis, Jaycees, youth football and boys basketball boosters. He also coached basketball and baseball and was a basketball referee.

Jason Furer said his father had an "amazing memory" and was able to recall details about the people he met. His family saw how many Dr. Furer had touched in the various phases of his life by the hundreds who came to visitation at the funeral home this weekend.

"It didn't matter if the person was the janitor or the CEO of a company. He treated everybody the same," Jason Furer said.

Dr. Furer's life revolved most around his family. He and his wife of 42 years, Janet T. Furer, loved to travel, seeing more than 40 countries. His six grandchildren were important to him, and Jason Furer said his Dad never missed one of their games or events.

"My dad was my best friend. He was always there for you," Jason Furer said.

In addition to his son, wife and grandchildren, Dr. Furer is survived by his mother, Mable I. Furer of Buffalo Township; two other sons, Michael Furer of Freeport and Gregory Furer of Buffalo Township; a daughter, Katie Kostelansky of Lower Burrell; and three sisters, Darlene Porter and Diane Lee, both of Buffalo Township, and Donna Essary of St. Louis.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today at Trinity United Christian Church, 3400 Garvers Ferry Road, Lower Burrell. Burial will be at Freeport Cemetery.

Redmond Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

T he Valley News Dispatch will occasionally run obituary stories on notable local residents. They are news items and as such, no charge is applied. The subjects of these stories are solely the discretion of the editors.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.