Richard F. Furia, 66, lawyer

Richard F.Furia
Richard F.Furia
Posted: September 20, 2011

Richard F. Furia, 66, of Wynnewood, a lawyer, died of lung cancer Friday, Sept. 16, at home.

Mr. Furia practiced general law for 40 years and had been founding partner with the firm of Furia & Turner in Center City since 1991.

"He was an old-school family lawyer who made house calls whenever his clients needed him - nights, days, weekends, and holidays," said his daughter, Gina Rubel, who is also a lawyer.

Mr. Furia chaired several Philadelphia Bar Association committees. From 1996 to 1998, he was chancellor of the Justinian Society, an association of Italian American lawyers in Philadelphia, and helped establish the Justinian Foundation, which provides scholarships to Italian American law students.

Growing up in South Philadelphia, Mr. Furia spent summers at his family's farm in Schwenksville and at the beach in Ocean City, N.J.

He graduated from Bishop Neumann High School, now SS. Neumann-Goretti High School. He remained best friends with several of his high school classmates who went on to distinguished careers, his daughter said. In 2000, he was the recipient of the school's Millay Club Alumni Achiever Award.

Mr. Furia earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967 and a law degree from Temple University in 1971. He then joined the law firm of Furia & Lacko, founded by his father, Edward, who became a U.S. magistrate. Mr. Furia was later with the firm of Stack & Gallagher before establishing Furia & Turner.

He was a member of the National Italian American Foundation and Counsel of 1,000, and held various offices with the Order Sons of Italy in America, including serving as national orator. In 2004, he was honored as man of the year by the Ivy Ridge Lodge 251 of the group.

Mr. Furia was a supporter of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other cultural institutions.

He loved hiking, fishing, and boating, and was an advocate of environmental conservancy, his daughter said. In 2001, he and his family contributed more than 20 acres of land to the Stone Hill Greenway at the Meng Wildlife Preserve and Bird Sanctuary in Audubon, Montgomery County. The preserve is administered by the Valley Forge Audubon Society.

In recent years, Mr. Furia enjoyed vacationing with his family at its summer home in Brigantine, N.J.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 23 years, Bernadette Kalinoski Furia; two brothers; two grandchildren; and his former wife, Jo-Ann Piccionetti Furia.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 20, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Baldi Funeral Home, 1331 S. Broad St. A Funeral Mass will be said at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday at St. Rita of Cascia Church, 1166 S. Broad St. Burial will be in Westminster Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd.

Donations may be made to Furia Scholarship Fund, Justinian Foundation, Pietragallo Law, 1818 Market St., Philadelphia 19103.


Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

 

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