John Dewitt Furrh III, affectionately known as Dewitt, was a native son of Elysian Fields, Tx. Dewitt was born in El Paso, Texas, on October 21, 1940, to Aaron Madison Furrh, M.D. of Elysian Fields, Texas, and Mabel Eubank Furrh of New Boston, Texas. Dewitt was born while his father, a physician, was stationed at Fort Bliss. Dewitt passed after a brief illness on September 27, in Longview, Texas. He was eighty years old and was much loved.
He was an intelligent and lively child who was the youngest of three boys, all born within three years of each other. After serving in the U.S. Army in El Paso during WW II, Aaron and Mabel moved their young family to Arizona, where Aaron was a practicing family doctor. Tragically, Aaron died in a car wreck while driving to a house call late one night. Mabel then moved with her three young boys back to Elysian Fields to be surrounded by family.
Dewitt had a happy early childhood living next door to his paternal grandparents, John Dewitt Furrh and Zuma Perkins Furrh, and many cousins, aunts, and uncles in Elysian Fields. Tragically, when Dewitt was ten years old, he was hit by a car while riding his bike to Sunday morning services at the Golden Rule Presbyterian Church. The accident left Dewitt in a coma for months. He pulled through but was left with life-long disabilities. He was cared for by his devoted mother, Mabel, until the end of her life.
Dewitt was a beloved member of the small community of Elysian Fields. Despite his disabilities, Dewitt would walk to the Elysian Fields store daily on his crutches to converse with friends, family, or whomever he encountered, to buy a soda, tootsie rolls, crackerjacks, or cigarettes; or to play dominoes. He was extremely congenial and had a love of people that endeared him to all who met him. He engaged people with his uncanny memory about everything from sports to Civil War history. Dewitt was an avid reader. He had a savant-like memory for dates and memorized much of the Guinness Book of World Records. He loved Elvis Presley, Westerns, crossword puzzles, and animals, especially his rat terrier Clementine. He was a good card player and often engaged his nephews and niece in card games and checkers. He loved food and getting out and about, whether to Jefferson to hear his brother Billy play piano at the local bar or driving to Shreveport for dinner at Don’s with the family. He loved going places and traveled with his niece and nephews to Dallas, Shreveport, Jefferson, Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Caribbean, and Las Vegas. He had a keen sense of humor and was known to laugh heartily and make clever quips which made everyone in earshot smile.
In short, it was a pleasure to spend time with him. Dewitt was a wonderful human being who was kind, loving, patient and tolerant of all people he encountered. He never complained and always had something positive to say about any circumstance he found himself in. Dewitt, in spite of his handicaps, or maybe because of them, had a lot to teach all of us about facing life’s adversities and bringing joy to others. He will be sorely missed.
The family would like to acknowledge Dewitt’s caregivers: Birdell Luddington, Roshonda Shaw, Shannon Moody, and Shiela Chishom for the loving kindness they showed Dewitt and his family at the end of his lifetime.
Dewitt is predeceased by his parents Madison Aaron Furrh and Mabel Eubank Furrh of Elysian Fields; his brothers, John Eubank Furrh of Waskom, Texas, and William Madison Furrh of Elysian Fields, Texas; and his beloved nephew, Charles Duke Furrh of Houston, Texas. He is survived by his nephews, John Eubank Furrh, Jr. of San Antonio and Douglass Madison Furrh of Pueblo, Colorado, and his niece, Lorena Furrh Dunlap of San Antonio; his first cousin, Molly Furrh Gomez of San Antonio; two great-nieces, four great-nephews, great grand-niece; and by many beloved family members of Elysian Fields and Marshall, Texas.
Visitation will be 6-8 pm Friday, October 22, 2021 at Meadowbrook Funeral Home. Services are to be conducted graveside 11:00 am Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the Elysian Fields Cemetery by the pastor of the Golden Rule Church, Brad Simms. In case of inclement weather services will be held at the Golden Rule Church in Elysian Fields, also at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dewitt's honor to the Marshall Animal Shelter (friendsofmarshallanimals.org) or Shriners Hospital (lovetotherescue.org).