November 15, 1929 ~ February 3, 2022

Born in: Pittsburgh, PA
Resided in: Hendersonville, NC

The Reverend Donald R. Furniss, 92, passed away Thursday, February 3, 3022, at Life Care of Hendersonville.

Rev. Furniss was born November 15, 1929, in Pittsburgh, PA, to the late Robb K. and Helen Arthurs Furniss, and was also preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth H. Furniss, who died October 18, 2021.

He received his education at the University of Pittsburgh and Nyack College in Nyack, NY. He did post graduate work at Easton Seminary in Philadelphia, PA and was ordained in 1955. He and his wife, Elizabeth, served as missionaries in Cambodia from 1956 – 1965, and he pastored churches in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey before they moved to Asheville in 1980. He served as pastor of the First Alliance Church from 1980 to 1993, and in retirement he was a chaplain with the Asheville Police Department and at Memorial Mission Hospital.

He is survived by his daughter, Beth Ellen Nelson and her husband, Eric, and two grandchildren, Michael Nelson and his fiancée, Rachel Williams, and Connie Nelson.

A memorial service will be at 12:00 noon Saturday, February 12, in the chapel of Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian, 72 Long Shoals Road, Arden.

Inurnment will follow at Green Hills Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Alliance Church, 1821 Windsor Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28791.


Memorial Service: February 12, 2022 12:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704



Green Hills Cemetery
25 New Leicester Hwy.
Asheville, NC 28806


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  1. With gratitude and appreciation for Don’s dedication and service for so many years as a chaplain at Mission and St. Joes. Always a respected member of our Pastoral Care Department.

  2. Such wonderful memories we have of Pastor Don and Beth. They were important people in our lives for so many years. He had such a servant’s heart and ran the race well. Earth has lost a faithful shepherd , but oh, what a glorious legacy he has left.

  3. Don was a wonderful person to work with. He had a love for his job at the hospital and he brought comfort to a lot of people.

  4. Don & Beth brought Light into the hearts of so many individuals. The years I spent at Mission working with Don were a Blessing. He loved our Lord, and was a man that carried a mantle of peace, respect and dignity. Blessings to his family.


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