Obituary of Dustin Furman III
Furman, Dustin Frankie III gone too soon. October 18, 1974 – June, 2018.
Cremation has taken place. Family and friends will be received at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines on Saturday, June 30 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. A Funeral service will follow in the funeral home ceremony room at 3 p.m. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Humane Society.
Eulogy by Amy Marconi
Today it is my absolute honor to speak about the life of my friend Dustin Jeremy John Furman. You and I would better know him as Frankie.
I realize that many of you don’t know me but my name is Amy Marconi and I had the privilege of walking along side Frankie in the last season of his life as one of his social workers through the Salvation Army. I also have been friends with Frankie’s sister Amie for over 25ish years so when I began the role of supporting Frankie professionally we had a heart connection from the beginning.
As I know you can all agree, this is a tremendous loss to anyone who knew and loved Frankie. The grief and mourning at this time is incredibly intense and heart wrenching and my heart just breaks for everyone one of you who loved Frankie and were blessed enough to call him friend. My prayer today is that God’s unspeakable peace would continue to soothe, guard and protect your hearts and that his arms of comfort would carry you throughout this day and the many days to follow as we miss our dear Frankie.
Frankie Furman was quite a guy, wasn’t he. Man, oh man where do I start. When I think of the Frankie that I knew I can’t help but smile, almost giggle and kind of shake my head. He was such a character! Frankie was fun loving, absolutely hilarious, unbelievably protective, and incredibly loyal, almost to a fault. Frankie was a HUGE advocate for the underdog and would often find himself in the role of helping or protecting someone who tugged at his big heart strings. This was something I witnessed regularly in the time I worked with Frankie and often ended up getting him in hot water lol.
Frankie was strong willed, determined and straight out stubborn. Those of you who have spent any time with Frankie completely get what I’m saying;) he could argue a point like no one I know and I laugh when I think of some of the Doozies we got into as we ran errands or attended appts together. He told me off so often but then would lovingly make up with me in a way only he could.
I’m not sure if you all know this but Frankie was a shopper, he had an eye for interesting “treasures” or as his sister Amie would often call them “junk” (he was a bit of a pack rat). He loved to attend garage sales and got so excited to tell us all about his latest gadget that was worth “so much money”. Frankie could shop anywhere actually, I could never get him out of the dollar store and when we went looking at clothes I had to give him a strict time limit, or we’d be there all day, seriously!
Frankie was a dreamer, he had the most humongous dreams and elaborate plans and he LOVED to talk about them. Some of his latest involved pick-up trucks, a dog, and various creative business endeavors. He always had ideas, dreams and plans that he was SO excited to share.
Frankie LOVED animals of all kinds. They brought out his incredibly loving, caring and soft side. He would often try to convince me to give him my dog, telling me that he could probably care for her better than I could lol. He was so gentle and caring with her when I brought her to see him. I loved to watch them interact. With regard for Frankie’s love for animals I have to share a special a special story that was shared with me by his sister Amie a few days ago. Amie shared that she had been pleading and talking with Frankie and God that they would just give her a sign that he was at peace, that night when she finally slept after a couple of restless, sleepless nights Amie had a dream and in her dream, she was shown a vision of Frankie’s face, the most peaceful, healthy, and joy filled, she had ever seen, he was surrounded by unspeakable light and cuddling a lab type puppy close to his face. Isnt this the most comforting thought!? So, grateful you shared that Amie.
Frankie was unbelievably resilient, he was a fighter, he had been through more in his 43 years than most endure in a lifetime, it wasn’t very often that he shared those chapters with me but he did it was enough for me to have tremendous respect for his battle and his will to overcome and battle Frankie did, to say different wouldn’t be truthful, he battled day in and day out. He went through seasons where he was conquering and confident and overcoming and he went through seasons that most of us cannot even fathom. I remember not too long ago being by his couch side as he battled one of these such health battles in one of his lowest lows and I remember thinking and fearing that he may not be able to bounce back from this one, but he did, he always did, until he didn’t.
I have thought a lot about the health care system that I feel somewhat failed Frankie and to be honest has failed so many others. Frankie longed to be better, he longed to be free, he longed for a better quality of life and in many ways as a system I feel we failed him. The waiting list and red tape to get folks appropriate help for their health needs is just ridiculous. No one should have to jump through hoops to have immediate and effective access to health care and advocacy. It’s not right. We have got to get so much better as a society in effectively helping and supporting those in similar battles to Frankie’s, we just do.
The last and I feel most evident character trait of Frankie’s that I want to highlight is his love for others and his huge heart. Everyone who has known and loved Frankie Furman knew what a humongous heart he had. I have heard so many stories the last few days as I’ve spent time with his family of remarkable expressions of his love. Whether it was expressed through his unreal bear hugs, his letters and cards of love and gratitude, phone calls of reconnection to his extended family in recent days or the way he lovingly held and gazed into the eyes of his nieces and nephews as babies. He ADORED his family.
Amie, Holly, please don’t ever doubt whether Frankie felt loved by you, he did, I know he did. I think that’s why he felt so absolutely comfortable to drive you nuts sometimes. Frankie also adored his nieces and nephews and spoke about them with the greatest of pride. My latest reminder of this was a video of Alejandro and Miguel teaching him how to floss (for this of you who don’t know this is a trendy and complicated dance). It was hilarious!! Frankie also loved his dad very very much. Like many relationships, there was ups and downs but Frankie was over the moon to share with me recently that he had made peace and amends recently in that relationship and shared this with great love. Frankie also had a very unique and special relationship with his step-dad, Rick. Rick and Frankie could often be found running errands together around town when Frankie needed some company and Frankie had grown to know over the years that Rick could always be counted on in practical, tangible ways like helping him fix or install things in his apt or driving him to and from his many appointments. Rick’s love was consistent and steady and Frankie benefited greatly from having such a Godly mentor.
Now onto the absolute love of Frankie’s life, his sweet angel, his beloved mama bear. Bev Frankie adored you. You were his everything. You fought, advocated, prayed, wept, encouraged and rallied behind Frankie like no other. Words can never express what you did for Frankie and how you loved him. You were truly his angel on earth, he is now yours.
As I have reflected upon the life of Frankie Furman over the last few days, I see so many of the qualities of Christ. His unending love for his family, his kindness and mercy to those who he saw as in need, his gentle and giving spirit, and the forgiveness that he was able to eventually find and give.
It is my prayer today that in honor of the life of Dustin Jeremy John Furman, otherwise known as our Frankie, that we would carry out and on his legacy by walking in these Christ like traits ourselves.
This is beautifully expressed in the prayer of St. Francis that I will now read:
Lord make me a channel of thy peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
That where there is error, I may bring truth;
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
That where there is despair, I may bring hope;
That where there are shadows, I may bring light;
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand, than to be understood; to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self forgetting that one finds,
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. Amen
As we close together please join me in a quiet moment of reflection as we listen to a song that Frankie himself requested be played if he ever succumbed to his health battles. It is a pretty powerful expression of his internal battle.
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