Edward Furman Sr., 67, of Blue Bell, a retired certified public accountant, local official, and family man who helped set up Montgomery County’s recycling program and was active in several conservation, addiction treatment, and community service efforts, died on Sunday, March 20, at home after treatment for lung cancer.
Born in Abington in 1954, the youngest of four children of Leon and Jeannette (Smith) Furman, Mr. Furman earned his bachelor’s in accounting at Drexel University and joined Price Waterhouse as a CPA, rising to senior manager. He met Ruth Getty at an inter-company softball game; they married in 1979.
Eight years later he quit Price Waterhouse, which served big companies and sought to move managers around to give them wide experience. Instead he joined Maillie Falconiero & Co., a Montgomery County-based firm, which “allowed us to stay in the area,” his wife recalls.
Mr. Furman’s work at Maillie focused on small-business and local-government accounts. He became active in local government and public causes, winning election to the board of supervisor in then-rural Towamencin Township, where his growing family lived, as a Republican. He later served as municipal auditor for Whitpain Township.
He was appointed to Montgomery County’s Commission on Waste Reduction and Fiscal Controls in the early 1990s, alongside Bruce Toll, co-founder of Toll Bros. and other business leaders, and joined the board of Montgomery County Community College Foundation, focused on scholarships for those who couldn’t pay full tuition.
Mr. Furman “believed in public service as the best way of improving the community,” said his son Edward Furman Jr. “He told us, ‘Let your actions speak louder than your words.’ ”
Indeed, Mr. Furman said little about his paid work or his public service at home. “He was always involved, but quietly, as a humble person,” said his wife. “He saw politics from a different angle. You do that work, basically, for nothing.”
Mr. Furman helped set up Montgomery County’s recycling program and served on the board of Wissahickon Trails. He led local conservationists’ efforts to acquire the 77 acres that became Towamencin’s Fischer Park, the township’s largest, as the community braced for development. And he was among the founders of Commonwealth National Golf Club in Horsham Township. He was an early golfer, setting tee times at 6 a.m.
Mr. Furman co-founded the program that grew into Montgomery County’s Drug and Alcohol Planning Council, and served on the board of what grew into the Lincoln Center Leadership Academy, a day treatment and counseling service for troubled youth.
He also gave his time to assist those in his profession. Mr. Furman was a member of the Accounting Advisory Council for Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. Additionally, he served on numerous boards of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Mr. Furman was a member of the vestry and had served as treasurer of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, where he and his wife attended early Mass. An Eagles fan, he coached his kids’ sports teams, and had been commissioner of the Towamencin Youth Association. He was a member of the Masons, Mitchell Lodge #81, Chestnut Hill.
Besides his wife and namesake son, he is survived by daughter Kelley, son Daniel, and grandson Edward “Tripp” III. The family asks donations in Mr. Furman’s name be made to the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine: pennmedicine.org/cancer/giving.
The cause of death noted in this article has been corrected.