Obituary of Frederick William “Bill” Furcht

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Frederick William “Bill” Furcht, 89, died peacefully on October 30 at home in Mount Washington, MA, while napping in his favorite recliner.

            Bill was born on December 30,1929 in Mount Kisco, NY son of Frederick Charles Furcht and Estelle Whigham Furcht. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from University of New Mexico in 1951. He then completed a master’s degree in chemistry at New Mexico Highlands University in 1954. Bill married Jean Austin Spence on June 9, 1956 and they were married for 61 years until Jean’s death in 2017. Jean and Bill lived on the West Coast, East Coast and in the South while Bill pursued his career and Jean raised their four children.

            Bill worked as a biomedical researcher for Burroughs Wellcome Co. and then worked for 38 years at American Cyanamid Company until his retirement in 1993. Bill started as a paper chemicals salesman, took roles in product development and product management and ended his career as Director, Corporate Accounts. After retirement he and Jean traveled extensively through Europe, Australia, Africa and the Far East.

            Besides leisure travel later in life, Bill had many hobbies and interests with which he filled his leisure hours in his younger years. From photography and developing his own film to building radios and other electronics from Heath Kits to camping and hiking to sailing and music to fixing whatever was broken around the house and caring for his yard, Bill had little time for sitting around.

            An avid sailor starting in his childhood at his parent’s summer cottage at Wanaksink Lake near Rock Hill, NY, Bill enjoyed a life-long passion for sailing with his family, friends, and even corporate clients along the Hudson River, on Long Island Sound, on Mobile Bay, in the Gulf of Mexico, and among many islands of the Caribbean.

            An avid organist starting in his early 20s, Bill loved playing his theater organs. Bill was self-taught and enjoyed hours of playing until his last days. He was a member of the American Theater Organ Society and the Garden State Theater Organ Society. At his and Jean’s annual Mount Washington Christmas cookie party and at countless Christmas gatherings prior, he played Christmas carols joyfully accompanied by family and friends.

            Bill was predeceased by his wife Jean and sister Lois. He is survived by his sister Sally Trama and husband Tony from Lancaster, California. He is also survived by a daughter, Melinda Furcht of Washington, DC; a son Peter Furcht of Philadelphia PA and his wife Diane Sweeney and their children Tori, Ben and Lily; a daughter, Kathryn Furcht of Mount Washington, MA; a son Tom Furcht and his wife Lesliann Tomich Furcht and their children Alex and Carl of Mount Washington, MA. Bill is also survived by nieces, nephews and many grand nieces and nephews all of whom he cared for deeply.

            In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mount Washington Church of Christ, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and American Heart Association through Birches-Roy Funeral Home 33 South Street Great Barrington MA 01230 which is overseeing arrangements. Condolences may also be made online through

            A remembrance service will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday November 9th, at the Church of Christ, Mt. Washington, MA. A reception will be held afterwards in the Mt Washington Town Hall located directly behind the church. All family and friends of Bill are welcome.


5 Responses to Obituary of Frederick William “Bill” Furcht

  1. So sorry for your lose, Kathryn. I’ll be thinking of you. And your family.

  2. Thinking and praying for you during this time.

  3. I have already expressed our sympathy but apparently it was erased. To repeat Bill had a keen sense of humor, a intelligent man. We had dinner with he and his daughter many times at my daughter’s home and her husband Tom who was Bill’s youngest child. I am sure he is with his beloved wife Jean and not lonely anymore. Rest in peace Bill. Matt, Matthew and Garnella Jean.

  4. Rest In Peace, Bill. Our prayers for you and all your family who will miss you. Bobbi & Gary Henniger

  5. We were so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Bill was a colleague of Don’s at American Cyanamid in Wayne Nj & Mobile Alabama. We enjoyed gatherings at their Wayne NJ home with Cyanamid friends. Yes, we did enjoy Bill’s talent at the organ many a time. Bill & Jean welcomed us in their home at Mt Washington to visit the car races at Great Barrington & to hike & pick blueberries They also hosted a lovely sail on the Hudson River. Bill & Jean were truly a generous & kind couple.

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