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Obituaries

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Donald Furlong spacee

Donald Furlong

Donald Furlong, a Belvedere resident for more than 50 years, died peacefully at home Jan. 2 after a period of declining health. He was 97.

Born in Providence, R.I., to James and Mabel Foss Furlong, Mr. Furlong studied electrical engineering for two years at Rhode Island State College, now the University of Rhode Island, then received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. He graduated with distinction with the class of 1939 with a bachelor's degree in engineering.

Mr. Furlong was on-duty aboard the USS Pennsylvania, where he had served for three years, when it was attacked and damaged during the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, a fact he seldom discussed, said his family. Fifteen of the Pennsylvania's men, including the executive officer, were killed; 14 were named missing in action and 38 were wounded.

The Navy sent him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated in 1944 with a master's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering.

He was posted to Mare Island Naval Shipyard, where he met his future wife, Patricia Lydon of Sausalito. After a two-year stint at Subic Bay in the Philippines, he was assigned to Washington, D.C., and was married at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel.

The Furlongs lived in London for three years when he was an assistant naval attaché. This diplomatic posting was a highlight of the couple's Navy life, as they made many lifelong friends, traveled extensively, and were presented to the queen of England, his family said. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1962.

Mr. Furlong started a long career with Bechtel Corp., and the Furlongs moved to Belvedere. During his career with Bechtel, he traveled extensively to the Middle East and Europe, often accompanied by his wife. They traveled frequently for pleasure as well. He retired as a vice president in 1983.

The Furlongs were members of the Belvedere Tennis Club and the Meadow Club. They attended San Francisco Opera performances regularly.

His daughter said he would be remembered as a supportive and loving father, and as a gracious and intelligent man.

His wife died in 2010.

In addition to his daughter, Patty Young of Belvedere, Mr. Furlong is survived by son Tom Furlong of Pleasanton; a sister, Hope F. Syverson of Virginia; five grandchildren, Paige and Katie Furlong and Tommy, Sarah and Jim Young; and seven nieces and nephews.

A private burial ceremony will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Belvedere Cove Foundation, P.O. Box 786, Belvedere, CA 94920; or to the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402.

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