James Brooke Furrh
James Brooke Furrh
  • April 13, 1926 - August 27, 2011
  • Jackson, Mississippi

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James Brooke Furrh, Jr., age 85, died peacefully August 27, 2011, with his family by his side. He was born in Marshall, Texas, on April 13, 1926, and was the son of James Brooke Furrh and Margaret Hagan Furrh. He attended school in Elysian Fields, Texas, and graduated from Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri. He was a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin where he received a BA degree and a BS degree in geology and was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He served as a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1953.

Jim was active in the oil and gas industry beginning in 1954. He was the owner of James B. Furrh, Jr. Inc., an oil and gas exploration company, and part owner of Energy Drilling Company of Natchez, MS. He served as chairman of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association and Vice-President and member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. In 1991, he was presented the Bill & Emmett Vaughey Wildcat Award by Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association. He belonged to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Mississippi Geological Society, Texas Land and Mineral Owners Association, and Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists. The Mississippi Geological Society named him an honorary member in 2010.

He was active in the Mississippi Republican Party having served as State Finance Chairman from 1985 - 1989. He served as a delegate to three Republican National Conventions and was a Mississippi presidential elector in 1980 and 1984. President Ronald Reagan appointed him Chairman of the Sabine River Compact Commission and President George H. W. Bush appointed him Chairman of the Southern States Energy Board. Governor Kirk Fordice appointed him to the Telecommunications Conference Center Board.

He was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church of Jackson where he served as a deacon. He served on the Board of Directors of the Capital City Petroleum Club, River Hills Club and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. Jim was a member of the Advisory Board of the Mississippi Children's Museum. He was also a member of the Country Club of Jackson and Capitol Investors, Inc.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Leigh Hendee Furrh; three sons, James Brooke Furrh, III and wife, Tammy, Roy Hendee Furrh of Jackson, and Leigh Hagan Furrh and wife, Annie, of Atlanta, GA; seven grandchildren, James Brooke Furrh, IV, Marshall Allen Furrh, Mary Ashton Furrh, Kendall Gilchrist Furrh, and Summer Holland Furrh of Jackson, Leigh Coleman Furrh and James Shepherd Furrh of Atlanta; sister, Mary Furrh Cooke, of Elysian Fields, TX; brother-in-law, Roy King Hendee, Jr. and sister-in-law, Ellen Hendee, of Atlanta, GA.

He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife, Mary Leigh, enjoyed traveling. A favorite activity was taking their children and grandchildren on annual group vacations. His family loved him dearly and will miss him greatly. The family sends special thanks to Dr. James C. Hays.

Visitation is 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2011, at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The funeral services will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2011.

Burial and graveside service will be in the Furrh family cemetery in Elysian Fields, Texas, at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 2, 2011.

Memorials may be made to Palmer Home, P.O. Box 746, Columbus, MS 39703; Reformed Theological Seminary, 5422 Clinton Blvd., Jackson, MS 39209; Covenant Presbyterian Church, 4000 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211; or Mississippi Children's Museum, P.O. Box 55409, Jackson, MS 39296.