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Thomas Alan Furgeson

July 24, 1965 - October 27, 2018

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In Loving Memory of

Thomas Alan Furgeson

(July 24, 1965 – October 27, 2018)

Thomas Alan (Tom, Tomas, Clovis Ghaundianipour) Furgeson, our beloved husband, father, son, brother, and friend, died in Olympia, Washington on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at the age of 53.  

In remembering Tom, everyone who knew him speaks first of his brilliant sense of humor and his contagious laugh. Tom loved life. With his wife, Hoolie, Tomas shared the passion of wanderlust; he especially loved spending time on Shaw Island (San Juans, WA) and in Mexico, where he found solace in birdwatching. (His favorite bird was the frigate.) Tom was a natural leader and a selfless human. His final generous act was serving as a cornea donor, bringing the gift of sight to two recipients.

Tom was also the embodiment of a true Renaissance man ~ a genius with innumerable interests and talents. Tom was an artist, amazing cook, musician (guitar and banjo player), author, builder, beekeeper, gardener, anthropologist, osteologist, methodologist, professor, avid Seahawks fan, and cowboy. He was greatly influenced by author Samuel Pepys’ book, The Shorter Pepys (published in mid-1600s London). (Like Tom, Pepys’ appetite for knowledge covered a vast range of subjects, and he, too, was an accomplished musician.) Tom counted Randy Newman, David Bowie, Lucinda Williams, and Joy Division among his favorite musicians. He also loved all things Tom Waits.

Tom held Bachelors’ Degrees from Evergreen State College of Olympia, WA and James Madison University, VA, and a Masters’ Degree in Physical Anthropology from University of Wyoming. For many years he worked as a Researcher with the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (University of Wyoming) and served as Coroner of Albany County, Wyoming. Most recently Tom held the position of Deputy Director of the Performance Audit Division of Washington State Auditors’ Office in Olympia. He loved his job and everyone he worked with.

Most of all, Tom cherished his family ~ Julie, Charlie, Lucy, Mikayla, Noah, and Zachary ~ and he was a devoted husband and father.

His greatest joy was being surrounded by his family, often playing evening poker or music together, each of his kids with instrument in hand. He instilled in his children an appreciation of the value of music, and loved listening to the soothing voice of his songbird, Mikayla. He taught Noah to build, inspiring him to become a welder. Tom was very proud of his daughter Lucy, who shares his artistic talent, and his son Charlie, who emulates his father in so many ways and is carrying forth Tom’s incredibly dry, witty, intellectual sense of humor. Together Tom and Julie raised their children to be strong, independent, passionate, and compassionate people, in a house filled with music, love, and laughter. Always creative, always busy, Tom spent his last hours building Hoolie’s She Garden, an oasis that she will fill with her favorite flowers, including thistle for her Scotsman Tom.

Tom’s life, work, gifts, and humor touched many people, and Team Furgenutes is grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received from family and friends in Virginia and in Olympia, at Centralia College, and at the State Auditors’ Office Performance Audit Division.

Tom left us too soon. He will be greatly missed by his family, his beloved dogs (Ginger-Pye, Jack, and Henry), and by his many close friends and colleagues. Though his life was too short, Tom’s contributions and influence are everlasting. He lives on through his children.

Tom is survived by his wife and soulmate, Julie Elizabeth Nurse; sons Charles Sayre Furgeson (Olympia, WA), Noah Joseph Lutes (Bellingham, WA), and Zachary Aslan Lutes (Olympia, WA) and daughters Lucinda Stanfield Furgeson (Sidney, OH) and Mikayla Caskey Lutes (Olympia, WA); mother and stepfather Marjorie and Richard Davis (Canandaigua, NY); brother Timothy Furgeson (New Orleans, LA) and sisters Leslie Hickey (Tom) (Palmyra, NY) and Jennifer Sylvester (Brian) (Richmond, VA); aunt Gina Higbee Hammond (Florida); niece Paige Piccola (Palmyra, NY) and nephews Derek Piccola (North Carolina) and Carson Sylvester (Richmond, VA); in-laws Dr. Ronald J. and Kathy Nurse (Gig Harbor, WA) and Florence and Allen Bachelder (Port Huron, MI); grandfather-in-law Roger (“Pappa”) Dube (Sarnia, Ontario, Canada); best friends Chris Ruef (Olympia, WA), Bernie Karr (Harrisonburg, VA), and Steve Butler (Castroville, TX); mentor and close friend George Gill (Laramie, WY); and numerous friends and colleagues. Tom was predeceased by his father, Lt. Col. Charles Thomas Furgeson (2015).

Per Tom’s wishes, there will not be a funeral service. The family will honor Tom with a Celebration of Life gathering in March, 2019 in Olympia (details TBA). In lieu of flowers you may wish to consider making a donation in Tom’s name to the University of Wyoming Anthropology Department. Donation checks should be made payable to UW Anthropology Department and sent to: Todd Surovell, University of Wyoming Anthropology Department, 1000 East University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071.