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Citizen Furr dies at 91


The former Wesson Volunteer Fire Department Chief, who orchestrated the Wesson Flea Market for many years, has died.

Kenneth Furr, 91, a loving husband father, grandfather, great grandfather and beloved friend, passed away May 6, and his life was celebrated at a private graveside service at Wesson Cemetery on May 9.

As a young man, Furr left college following the sudden death of his father to come home to run the family business and to help his mother with two younger siblings. He was a vital, active, contributing citizen of Wesson his entire life.

Decell Memorial United Methodist Church was his church. There he was a member of the choir and served as music director for many years. Even when he had to sit on the front pew because he was no longer able to get into the choir loft, he still led the choir and congregation in song.

Furr operated the Gulf Service Station on Highway 51 in Wesson for more than 70 years following the death of his father. The station became the gathering place of an informal town's mens group, which discussed local issues and events most every day

One of the founder of the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department, he served as its fire chief for many years. In addition to fighting fires for the department, he organized the Wesson Christmas parade and children’s time with Santa Claus following the parade and the Wesson Flea Market -- the fire department's major fundraiser, which he continued to bring together for many years even after retiring from the fire department

An active member of Wesson Lion’s Club, he served as its president, led its singing at meetings, and was the “Tail Twister,” collecting fines from those members not wearing pins to demonstrate their pride in participating in the club.

Furr was multi-talented. He was an avid gardener with a greenhouse, which gave him a head start every year in growing his flowers and vegetables. He had a beautiful rose garden, and many of those roses found their way into his church.

In his woodworking shop, Furr made tables, chairs, benches and other pieces, which he gave away.

Furr also loved photography, and took his camera with him everywhere to take pictures of unsuspecting individuals. He turned much of his photography into slide presentations, which he shared with church and Lions Club members, and others.

Furr is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Margaret, daughters Amy and Barbara, grandson Blake and wife Nikkie and great grandchildren Lola and Barrett.

SIDEBAR

Back in the late 1990s, the Wesson Board of Alderman appropriately named the town's volunteer fire station "Kenneth Furr Fire Station."

Furr, along with his buddy Wadell Pettigrew, were Wesson's first fire fighters in 1945, and when fires broke out, responded in an old T Model Ford fire truck, assisted by fellow townsmen, who helped drag the hose. They learned fire fighting as necessity demanded.

Their first real fire truck was a 1942 Dodge army surplus that had been given to Co-Lin by the government.

An organized fire department with sixteen volunteers started in 1968, with Furr continuing in the role of Chief, in which he had served for 23 years up until then. In the early days, Wesson firemen were called to duty by a siren that could be heard throughout the town. Later, each fireman's home phone was equipped with a distinct ring set off from the police department. Today, each fireman is equipped with a 911 pager.

Even after retiring as Fire Chief, Furr long organized the fundraising projects that financed equipment for the fire department, the Wesson Christmas parade, the children's Christmas party and safety programs at schools and churches. The major fundraiser over the years has been the Wesson Flea Market, which Furr helped build into the big event it has become.

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