Larry Gibson Fureigh passed away February 4 at the VA Medical Center in Little Rock. He was born on February 23, 1944, in Heber Springs, to Johnny and Virgia (Hunnicutt) Fureigh. Moving to Little Rock at age 9, he attended public schools and graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1962. After a year at Little Rock University, he served six years in the Navy as a hospital corpsman and as a pharmacy technician.
During his Navy service, his love for scuba diving grew during various assigned locations. After military service, he moved to Kwajalein, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, where he worked initially as a medical technician. Much of his free time was spent from a dive boat – diving to explore sunken warships, spearfishing, etc. He acquired credentials as a Master Scuba Instructor and operated his own Scuba School.
Though he never had any of his own, Larry loved children. During stateside vacations, he would often buy toys and other items to share with children on the beach back at Kwaj.
In the middle of his 20 years there, he met a computer programmer from California, Jean Stoughton Smith. They married in 1981 and retired to the States in 1990. For several years, they lived and traveled in a large fifth-wheel trailer home – around the country and, for a while, in New Zealand.
As the health of Larry’s mother declined, they came to reside in Quitman to help care for her. In 2003, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. His symptoms gradually worsened – and eventually linked to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, where he served in the mid-60s.
Jean suffered two strokes and passed away in 2017. Shortly after her death, with his worsening symptoms, Larry moved to the State Veterans Home in North Little Rock.
During their last few years living in Quitman, Larry and Jean were fortunate to be lovingly cared for by some special caregivers – among them: Susanna Edwards, Kimberly Laster, Brenda Osborn, Patricia Williamson, Carey Barker, Maran Murphy, Loretta Beason and many others who became family. Their love and compassion cannot be surpassed. Also providing good care for Larry was the staff at the NLR Veterans Home. Thank you ALL!
Memories of Larry and Jean will be cherished by his sister, Jeanette Fureigh Wood of Cabot; his brother, Robert Fureigh of North Little Rock; several Fureigh cousins; several relatives in Jean’s family; and family and friends across the United States, in New Zealand and Kwajalein
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Covenant Reform Presbyterian Church, 111 S. Broadway St., Heber Springs, AR 72543.
Visitation will be at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Friday, February 26, 2021. Graveside Funeral Service, with military honors, will follow at 1:00 PM at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, North Little Rock.
Arrangements are entrusted to Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main Street, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72114. (501) 758-1170. Guest register at www.SmithFamilyCares.com.