Stephen W. Furry was born September 9, 1923 to Stephen N. Furry and Olive White Furry. Steve passed away at his home surrounded by his family on October 13, 2013 at the age of 90, after a long and heroic battle with Parkinson's Disease. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of sixty-seven years. Annabelle Furry, sister; Verna Reinhardt, daughters; Robin Marci, Bobbie and her husband Nick Mota, grandchildren; Scott Fedorchak, Brian and his wife Heidi Fedorchak, Jillian and her husband Nick Smith, Nicholas Mota, and great-grandson; Hunter Fedorchak. He was a fourth generation Lodi Farmer. He was raised on Davis Road in Lodi and graduated from Lafayette School. He graduated from Lodi High where he played football on a championship football team. In 1942 he was awarded the Prep-All Conference as tackle. He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and served at Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and in Calcutta, India. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his Aleutian service. While he was in India, he became a member of the Masonic Lodge and he was a member of the Lodi Masonic Lodge for 50 years. In 1946 he married Annabelle Foote. After World War II, Steve came home to Lodi and worked for the San Joaquin County Agriculture Department as an Inspector. He farmed the land that once belonged to his great-grandfather, Edward Thorp and Walter White. Steve grew tomatoes, alfalfa hay, walnuts, and various row crops. In the 1960's Steve started growing Zinfandel grapes. In the 1970's Steve worked with local grape growers to promote the Lodi wine/grape region. Along with a business partner, Steve built the Lodi Grape Station in 1973. The Lodi Grape Station helped open up the grape/wine market for local growers to ship their grapes out of the region by giving growers another outlet to market their grapes. Steve served as a Trustee for Lafayette School, and he was member of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce. Steve started the 4-H Booster Club to help 4-H and FFA members sell their animals at the San Joaquin County Fair. Steve was President of the San Joaquin County Chamber of Commerce in 1971. He served on the Board of Directors for C.A.W.G. and the Lodi/Woodbridge Grape Growers. He was also a member of the Farm Bureau for 50 years. Steve was very proud to belong to the Lodi Rotary Club and was honored to receive the Paul Harris Award. One of Steve's many accomplishments was to have received the Lodi Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Person of the Year Award in 2002. Steve was also a member of the American Legion for sixty-seven years. Steve loved to fish and travel. He took many fishing vacations to Baja, Mexico. He enjoyed sharing his love of fishing with his daughters and grandchildren. He taught his daughters to deep sea fish in Santa Cruz, fish for Bass and Catfish on the Delta, and Trout at Silver Lake. He enjoyed going to his cabin in Truckee and teaching his grandchildren how to fish in the creek. Steve also loved to fly and maintained his Private Pilot's License for many years. Steve will be missed by everyone that knew him, but never forgotten. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, October 19th, 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church. There will be a Celebration of Life Lunch Reception at Wine and Roses following the service. In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions can be made to the Lodi Rotary Club. Lodi Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. A virtual register can signed or tribute shared at www.lodifuneralhome.com.
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Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Oct. 16 to Oct. 23, 2013