Milton John Furness Jr.
1933 - 2017
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Milton John Furness, Jr.

Milton John "Milt" Furness, Jr. was born February 1, 1933 in Everett, Washington. Raised in Juneau, Alaska, he died April 27, 2017 in Seattle, surrounded by family.

Milt began his broadcasting career when he was just 13, at KJNO-AM in Juneau. This was the beginning of his life-long love of radio and communication. After graduating from Juneau High School, Milt enlisted in the Army during the Korean War and served in the Army Signal Corps in Ketchikan and Juneau. He served for six years, and then enrolled at Seattle University, where he served as editor of The Spectator, and was named Journalist of the Year. While a student, Milt also worked at KIRO Radio as a DJ, and KING Radio as a news reporter. He worked for United Press International (UPI) in Olympia following his graduation, then joined KIRO TV as a news reporter. His first television work was leading up to and during the Seattle World's Fair.

Milt moved to KOMO-TV in 1967, where, over the next 15 years, he rose to popularity as one of Seattle's most trusted and reliable news reporters and anchors. Milt initially served as news desk manager and field reporter, became the morning news anchor in the early 1970s, then moved to the evening news anchor chair in the late 1970s, continuing through the early 1980s. He also hosted the innovative television program, The Baxters. When Fisher Communications launched its own cable news network, Satellite News Channel (SNC), Milt was named News Director and served as the network's primary anchor. After SNC was sold to CNN, Milt worked briefly for CNN. He then joined Boeing Aerospace as Public Relations Director for the Air and Space Division, where he worked until his retirement. Milt won multiple awards and accolades during his career, both in journalism and public relations, and is remembered as being a kind and thoughtful reporter.

Milt was rightfully proud of his more than 25 years of combined military service, first in the Army, then the Naval Reserves, from which he retired as a Commander.

Milt was a charter member of the Seattle Fire Buff Society, proudly served as president of the local chapter of AFTRA, was on the board of the SIDS Foundation, and was a licensed amateur radio (HAM) operator (K7JKH). After his retirement from Boeing, he volunteered with the Talking Book and Braille Library, and sang with both the Magnolia Chorale (as a founding member) and the choir of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension.

Milt is survived by his devoted wife of 54 years, Carole (Buckley); children Ian (Tammy), Megan Berger (Rick), Alexandra Furness, Stacey Furness, and Paige MacMillan (Buck), along with his grandchildren, Briony and Kiefer Furness; Gabriel, Francis, and Lillian Berger; Isaac and Asher MacMillan; sister-in-law Naomi Schmaltz and brother-in -law Terry Schmaltz; niece Dr. Heidi Schmaltz (Rock Gonsalves); and nephew TJ Schmaltz (Sanam Bakhtiar). He is predeceased by his parents, Milton J. Furness Sr. and Ann (Nancy) Gulley Furness, and his sister, Ann Furness.

Celebration of Life service will

be held May 20, 2017, at 1:00 p.m.

The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 2330 Viewmont Way West, Seattle, WA 98199.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Church of the Ascension, Seattle University, or your favorite charity.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from May 14 to May 17, 2017.
Celebration of Life
01:00 PM
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Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
April 30, 2018
To the Furness family - I am so sorry for your loss.

Sue Bowers
April 25, 2018
I am trully and deeply sorry for your loss. My warmest condolences go out to the family and friends of Milton. May the God of all comfort grant you peace and strength during this difficult time (psalm 29:11)
May 31, 2017

Milt was one of the kindest and most caring people I've ever met. He was always thoughtful and sincere. I served with him for several years in a Public Affairs unit in the Naval Reserve and appreciated his perspective on the importance of public relations to the military and the nation's defense information responsibilities. He was a gentle leader with a quiet sense of humor. We all had nicknames, his was "Uncle Milty" not just because it sounded good but because he was like a guiding uncle to the entire unit.
Like him, many in the unit had begun their military careers as enlisted folks, went to college and continued in the military to lend their communications skills to telling the Navy's story to the people who pay the bills, the citizens of the USA. He was a superb journalist, a hard working manager and a fantastic role model. I will remember him as such until the end of my days. "Uncle Milty"...thanks for the memories.
Forrest Rambo
May 18, 2017
While working with Milt at KOMO TV I always experienced a lift when he wafted into our work room. One of the well based reporters in the organization I knew that I would be better informed and possibly even a better person after one of our verbal sparring bouts. Bouts that most always ended with my losing.
I suspect that he is at this very moment holding St Peter's to a true accounting of the day's activities. We can never have too many persons of his cut around us. RIP.
Don Cook
May 15, 2017
What a devoted family man; that's what impressed me most. - Lucia
May 14, 2017
My sincere condolences. Milt was the consummate news journalist, and with his professionalism, leadership and guidance the Pacific Northwest Bureau of Satellite News Channel was launched and thrived in the 1980's. We could not have done it without him........mike eguchi
May 14, 2017
Miss you at the dinner table at Aegis, Milt. In case you're wondering, the meats are still dry. I found a 21 year old kid who loves the cinnamon hard candies, so I'll give him your share. RIP, Greg Louie
Greg Louie
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