HUSBAND FATHER PHYSICIAN EDUCATOR
N Kenneth (Ken) Furlong died on July 11, 2021. He was 94. He is survived by his loving wife, Helen, and daughters Karen Childs (husband Joseph and grandchildren Kathleen and Drew), Lucy Smith, Patricia Furlong (grandson Jacob), and Susan Fisher (husband Rob).
He was born in Youngstown, Ohio on August 31, 1926; the only child of Virginia McBreen Furlong and Neil Joseph Furlong. He left Youngstown at the age of 2 months and hadn't been back since.
At sixteen, Ken graduated from Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, NY. His college education at the College of the Holy Cross was interrupted when he enlisted in the Navy in 1943. After the war, Ken returned to Holy Cross and graduated with a B.S. in Biology. He immediately began medical school at the University of Cincinnati.
Ken met Helen on a blind date during his freshman year of medical school. He said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Nine months later, they began a happy marriage of 73 years.
Ken rejoined the service right after graduation. He served during the Korean War at Great Lakes Naval Training Station where he treated evacuated, injured marines. He continued his service as a Flight Surgeon for the Navy and the Marine Corps. His service in WWII, Korean War, and Cold War created a life-long loyalty to and admiration for those who serve.
After completing his service and training, Ken entered private practice, making house calls for $5 a visit. He soon discovered his passion for medical education. He taught medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago for many years. He and several colleagues established what is now known as the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Peoria. In 1974, he received a Masters of Adult Education from Bradley University to prepare him to teach and run the medical school.
Ken was an expert skier. He taught Helen to ski at Boyne Mountain, MI. After watching all the snow melt off that ski hill one year, they took to skiing in Colorado. Skiing and the Rocky Mountains lured Ken and Helen to relocate to Colorado in 1975. Colorado has meant home ever since.
Ken was Medical Director at Lutheran Hospital, on the faculty of Family Medicine Residency at Mercy Hospital, and served as Associate Dean of Continuing Education at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He ended his career overseeing eight outpatient clinics where he supervised resident physicians.
Ken was an avid and accomplished photographer. In addition to his own fine art work, Ken photographed thousands of artworks as a volunteer for the Denver Art Museum.
Ken and Helen loved nothing more than spending time together. They were devoted supporters of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, attending numerous productions and arts events through the years. They were early Rockies season ticket holders. The fans of Section 105 were perennial friends. They attended nearly every home game through 2019. They never missed a game on TV. When the Rockies weren’t playing, they traveled extensively, including visits to daughters living in Japan, Mexico and France.
Ken was a member of Rotary International for over fifty years. He was proud of Rotary's fight to cure Polio, foster literacy, and provide clean water and sanitation around the globe. If you would like to remember Ken with a gift, he asked that donations be made to the Rotary International Foundation at my.rotary.org/en/donate. Donations may also be made to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities at the arvadacenter.org
A funeral service will be held at Spirit of Christ Catholic Church, 7400 W. 80th Ave., Arvada on August 3, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Burial will take place at Fort Logan National Cemetery at a later date.