Former Okanogan resident, Lloyd H. Furman, 79, passed away unexpectedly at home Jan. 7, 2013. He was born in Langley, Wash., on July 18, 1933, to Harry and Ruby Furman. Lloyd attended school in Langley, graduating in 1951. Lloyd became the man of the house and the primary provider for his mother, Ruby, and his younger brother, Glenn, when his father passed away when he was 16 years old. After graduating high school, Lloyd attended and completed the U.S. Navy Reserve program in 1951. In June 1955, he married Marilyn Gill, whom he met on a blind date. In 1961, he graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry.
He was immediately hired by Biles-Coleman Lumber Company in Omak, Wash. He worked at the mill in Omak for 20 years while residing in Okanogan with his wife and two boys. In the early 70s, along with others at the mill, he engineered and oversaw the construction of both the powerhouse and the plywood plant at Biles, propelling the mill into the 20th century, which led to tremendous job growth and improved the economy of Okanogan County.
Because of this on-the-job training, he became a manufacturing engineer, receiving his professional engineer in manufacturing designation and stamp in 1979. Lloyd loved his time at the mill and worked with many, many good people.
Lloyd and Marilyn also were members of the Okanogan Presbyterian Church, where they met many lifelong friends. In the early 1970s, Crown Zellarbach, a nation-wide plywood and sawmill company, purchased the Omak mill. In 1979, he and Marilyn transferred to Bogalusa, Louisiana, to help upgrade and build a mill for Crown Z. This started a 12-year journey where they moved, for the company, to Baxley, Georgia; McComb, Mississippi; Red Bluff, California; and finally, Warrenton, Oregon.
He retired in 1992 and moved back to his beloved Whidbey Island. Lloyd couldn’t sit still long and eventually got involved in local politics, where he was elected to the Langley City Council by one vote. The family affectionately kidded him, calling ‘Landslide Lloyd.’ Lloyd ran for Mayor of Langley and was elected in 1996. He served two terms as Mayor of Langley, a feat that has not been replicated since. While Mayor, he donated his salary to the Langley Cemetery fund. He loved being Mayor and serving the residents of Langley. Lloyd loved people and never met a stranger. He enjoyed going to the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club and having Friday night dinner with the gang. He also enjoyed his weekly coffee with friends at Mike’s in Langley. He was a wonderful husband, father, friend and mentor to many. He will be missed immensely by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, in Langley; his son, Terry and wife, Susan, in Seattle; and his son, Scott and wife, Pat, in Okanogan; a sister, Vera, in Edmonds; and a brother, Glenn, in Spokane.
He also is survived by four grandchildren, Derik, Alicia, William and Olivia; as well as three great-grandchildren, Dalton, Paige and Talan.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Langley United Methodist Church at 301 Anthes Ave., Langley, Wash.
Memorial contributions may be made in his honor to the Langley United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 374, Langley, Wash. 98260 or to the Senior Services of Island County, 14594 SR 525, Langley, Wash. 98260.