Gene's Story

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Gene C. Furan, age 85, died February 13, 2017 in Abilene Texas, his home for many years. Gene was born in Tracy, Minnesota on March 23, 1931, to Leo A. Furan and Agnes H. (Bienapfl) Furan, 11 months before his father died of pneumonia. The Furan family, Agnes and three small sons, moved to Mankato to live with Agnes's father, Wendel G. Bienapfl.
Gene grew up and attended schools in Mankato until joining the Marines at age 17. He was stationed at El Toro Air Base in California, working as an aircraft propeller technician and attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. After his four-year enlistment, he spent a short time jumping around to various civilian jobs. But he still wanted to see the big world and joined the U.S. Air Force.
Four years (1953-57) at Offutt Air Force Base was not what he had in mind, although he again achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. Five years of various civilian jobs followed, including machine operator and instrument man on a survey crew. Gene re-joined the Air Force from 1963 to 1967, during which time he was an Airborne Radar Navigation equipment repairman. Gene used his thorough Marines and Air Force education in radar and computers to find civilian work at Sperry Univac where he was responsible for maintenance and repair of small, medium and large scale computers. He worked in Germany, Sicily, Okinawa, Puerto Rico, various other Air Force bases and Johnson Space Center. After leaving Sperry Univac, Gene worked for CAE-Link in Abilene, Texas, where he was responsible for the installation and maintenance of the Pilot Trainer, Flight Simulator for the B-1 Bomber. He retired from CAE-Link in 1996.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents; brother Darrell Furan and sister-in-law Marie (Schulz) Furan; and two nephews, Michael and Neil Furan. His survivors include his brother Rodney Furan (Barbara Howell); nieces Lori (Douglas) Schultz, Lisa Furan, and Ruth Furan (Mel Hayner); nephews Eric Furan, Paul Furan (Kathryn Sumner), and Ronald Furan (Mary De Sorbo).
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 25, at 12:00 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1851 Marie Lane, North Mankato.
Published on March 22, 2017
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