Thomas Milton Furey passed away on March 3rd at the Springs of Missoula while under Hospice care. He died peacefully at 89 years. Tom spent his youth in Tehachapi, California, where both his parents were employed. He attended elementary school in a two-room building with four grades to a room, and later would enroll at Tehachapi Union H.S. where he enjoyed drama and writing. After high school, he would graduate with excellent grades from University of California Berkeley with a B.A. in History and soon secured his Elementary Teaching Credential.
His teaching career included instructing rural farmers' children outside Tucson and serving as a truant officer to make sure they attended class. Later, he would teach in the Tucson Elementary School Dist. and in Anchorage, Alaska. Realizing the "Midnight Sun" and relative sleeplessness were not for him, he returned to CA for a position in the Las Lomitas School Dist. in Menlo Park, CA. near Stanford University. As he had no family of his own, he was "unofficially adopted" into the Clemmensen family by Lee, a long time co-worker and friend. During his time in Menlo Park, he was a member of the Episcopal Church of Menlo Park and later the Greek Orthodox Church of Los Altos.
On a vacation to Montana, Lee's home state, he fell in love with Montana. He also wanted to investigate the burial location of his maternal great-great grandfather, Thomas Francis McElroy, who was the trumpeter for Company E., U.S. 7th Cavalry and who died alongside George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. Visiting the site was a very moving experience for Tom. He decided to permanently move to Missoula in 2000 to a unit at Brookside, and then to The Springs in 2014.
During his lifetime, Tom made friends everywhere he went, many of whom he maintained contact with until his death. He was a proud member of the local Greek Orthodox Church although health issues kept him from attending. He will be remembered as a gentle, kind and congenial person.
Tom requested that there be no funeral-or flowers, only a private committal burial service.