Betty Lorraine Charles Furner 1934-2019
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Betty Lorraine Charles Furner, 85, passed away unexpectedly at home on November 20, 2019. She was born on February 1, 1934 on the Charles family farm in Sidney Center, N.Y. the youngest child of the late Harold and Pearl Gregory Charles.
She moved with her family to Sauquoit in 1942 and was a 1951 graduate of Sauquoit Valley Central School.
At age 17 she began her first job as a secretary at Utica Mutual Insurance and later as secretary at radio station WIBX.
On January 17, 1953 she was married to Clarence “Bill” Furner.
For several years she helped her husband operate Furner’s TV and Appliances. From 1974 until 1995 she was employed with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Utica-Watertown, Inc. At the time of her retirement she was the executive secretary to the president of the company and assistant corporate secretary of the Board of Directors.
After her retirement she volunteered her time at the Clayville Library.
Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her life, especially her grandson Benjamin. Betty hated to cook and bake but could spend hours reading and also loved traveling and music.
While in school she started writing to a pen pal in Manchester, England and that friendship still exists today. Betty finally got to meet her pen pal Audrey in person when she and her daughter Laurie went to England.
She is survived by her two sons and daughters in law; Scott and Deborah Furner and Barry and Dawn Furner, all of Sauquoit, her two daughters and sons in law; Laurie and Fred Evans of Auburn, NY and Brenda and Stanley Kosakowski of Sauquoit, her twelve grandchildren; Patricia and Chad Parsons, Kathryn and Laslo Jacobs, Bridgette and Robert Miller, Lauren and Adam Collister, Daniel and Nicole Evans, Michael and Stacey Evans, Jacklynn and Mark Prack, Diane Kosakowski, Wendy Kosakowski, Ashley Furner, Trevor Furner and Benjamin Furner, her 11 great-grandchildren; Caleb Parsons, Hannah, Lucie, William and Zachary Miller, McKenna, Leah and Cara Collister, Silas Jacobs, Natalie Prack and Beckett Evans and two nieces; Sandra Thingvold of Rugby N.D. and Judith Lange of Rio Rancho, N.M.
She was predeceased by her son Eric in 1974, her former husband Clarence “Bill” in 1998, her brothers Harold and Douglas and her sisters Letha Trayhorn and Merle Hall.
Funeral services will be Monday, November 25 at 10:00 at the Smith Funeral Home, 3022 Oneida St., Sauquoit. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Clinton.
Calling hours will be Sunday from 1-4 at the funeral home.
Please consider donations in Betty’s memory to either St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Friends and Neighbors or Stevens-Swan Humane Society.
Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
To view Betty’s online memorial, please go to: