IN MEMORIAM: G. Ronald Furse

by Jane Ahrens
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George Ronald Furse 1921-2015

George Ronald Furse (94) died peacefully at his home in Essex, Connecticut on December 8, 2015. Ronnie, as he was always known, called Old House in Sussex, England his home from the age of two when his parents, William & Anne Furse, moved there from Irvington, New York where he was born. He attended St. Peter’s School in Seaford, Eton College and then Trinity College at Cambridge University. He was recruited into the Welsh Guards while at University, and attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for Officers’ Training. He served as a Captain with the British Army in North Africa and Italy.  He was injured during the Italian Campaign at Montecassino in 1944, and shortly thereafter was released from the Army.

After the war, Ronnie moved back to the United States and started his lifelong banking career at the Fiduciary Trust Company in New York City. It was there in New York that he met and then married Pamela Fowler, his wife of 42 years. In 1964, after the death of his father, he and Pam moved their family of five children to live at Old House, a decision they never regretted. Ronnie was instrumental in opening and heading up the London office of Fiduciary Trust Company, where he became a major investment manager for the United Nations’ Pension Fund, investing specifically in Asia, until his retirement in the early 90’s. In 2004, Ronnie sold Old House and moved to Connecticut to be closer to his family.

Fishers Island was always a favorite spot and was the setting of extended family life for the Furse/Fowler clan. Ronnie’s parents had vacationed with his Aunt Bess Haines on Fishers from his early childhood and the ritual of traversing the Atlantic to visit Family was established in his early life. The Big House, otherwise known as Buckingham Palace, was bought in 1960 from the Buckinghams and became the center of the family connection to America.

Ronnie loved family life and his Fishers Island vacation home. His favorite beach was Chocomount, where he could be found picnicking each weekend. The family has many fond memories of tennis games with him at Hay Harbor on court 4 at 4, followed by a swim at the deep end at 5. His favorite saying, “Who doesn’t want to come for a swim?”, will always remain a classic, and these traditions are carried on through his children and grandchildren. Walking out along low tide sandbars in Hay Harbor to swim the channel is another great memory. Though Ronnie thought of himself as an enthusiastic sailor, he was mostly found simply cheering on his children as they raced in the old “Weasel” sailboats.

He will always be remembered for his love of cards and after dinner games with the younger members of his family, as well as bridge afternoons with friends in his later years. Family evenings together at the Little House with spectacular harbor views and sunsets were enhanced by the “famous” Rum Furse cocktail – created for him on his 6oth birthday by The Savoy Hotel in London.

Ronnie is survived by his children Charlotte McKim, Rosie Taylor, Liz Furse, Diana Fiske and William Furse, his grandchildren Annie (Taylor) Douthit, Charlotte Taylor, Talbot Taylor, Sarah Fiske and Hannah Fiske, and his one great-grandchild William George Douthit.

A memorial service on Fishers is being planned by the family for July 2, 2016.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the H.L. Ferguson Museum, P.O. Box 554, Fishers Island, NY 06390. Gifts will be allocated to the Museum’s Land Trust.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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