James Ivan Furrer
10:00 am, Monday, October 5, 2020
Rural Alma, Kansas
Reverend Dr. Rick Wright
On Sunday, September 13, 2020, the Furrer family lost their beloved patriarch to COVID. James Furrer spent his life in a very unassuming hero's way. Everyone that knew him knew he was a quiet giant. A giant in spirit and integrity, in his passion to do the right thing, in his contribution anywhere he saw a need, and in his generosity. His life creed was, "never stop moving." He had already begun to plot a walking course for his recovery after having open heart surgery on August 10.
He is survived by his wife Darla Miller Furrer; his daughters: Laura Furrer Roeser (Keith), Menomonie, WI; Donna Furrer Anderson (Clarke), Marshall, AR; Frankie Furrer Hendron (Patrick Maxwell), Black Hawk, CO; Decho Bailey (Walter), Flower Mound, TX; Darci Ewell (Lankford), Dripping Springs, TX; DeWyn Avey (Brian), Fox, AR; and sons: Damon Johnson (Jolene), Topeka, KS; Dylan Johnson (Vicki Meinhardt), Omaha, NE; and his nephew, Charles Furrer (Sandra), Pinconning, MI; 27 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 1, 1932. He was the youngest of three boys. He lived in their family's brick bungalow in Norwood Park, Illinois. By age 10, he was already helping his two older brothers with building their house. His family later relocated to a 100-acre farm in Frankfort, Illinois where he attended a two-room schoolhouse.
Jim finished his sophomore year in high school at Bloom Township and then ran off to join the navy. He made it through basic training and was prepared to begin his career as a member of a submarine crew, but he was pulled out by his father who told the navy he was only 16. He ended up back in Chicago Heights looking for work. He went to work for the Pagoria trucking company. Over the years, he worked as a truck driver, construction foreman, and owned a couple of small businesses.
Jim was a Renaissance man who could create or do just about anything he set his mind to. He was an avid rock hound and lapidarist, jewelry designer, carpenter, furniture builder, brick and stonemason, gardener, farmer, pilot (even building two of his three planes), and an enthusiastic domino player.
He moved to Kansas City, MO in 1975 and married his wife, Darla, in 1984. They retired to Mountain View, AR in 1989 where they rebuilt their current home.
There he became a volunteer with the Dodd Mountain Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 69. He was elected Fire Chief two years later and served 17 years as chief until his death. As chief and First Responder, he helped initiate many improvements and projects over the years which helped the department grow in the number of fire stations, vehicles and equipment, training programs, collection of dues, grant proposals, and the reduction of the overall ISO Class rating.
The Dodd Mountain Fire Dept. will be hosting a memorial for James Furrer on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, from 2p-4p at Dodd Mountain Fire Station #4: 1440 Misenheimer Road.
To pay your respects safely due to COVID-19, this is planned as a "drive-thru" memorial with family and firemen present.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request a donation to the James Furrer Memorial Fund in care of the DMVFD. Please send your donation (add JFMF in the check memo area) to DMVFD, PO Box 2302, Mountain View, AR 72560. You can also donate online at:
Jim's family would also like to encourage you to share your prayers, thoughts, memories, and photos on Jim's virtual guest book at