Floyd Furman Kearley
GA Cover, May 2003
GA - A Foundation Of Faith
GA - My Father's Eulogy
GA - Dear Friends, Amy
GA - Tributes To F. Furman Kearley - A Blessing
GA - Learning From Furman
GA - A Renaissance Man
GA - From A Student's Perspective
GA - From Furman's Teacher
GA - A Wonderful Scholar
GA - The Bond Of Friendship
GA - Knowing The Kearleys
GA - Leaving A Legacy
GA - Finding A Mentor
GA - Watching The Boy Become A Man
Directions To The Grave & Photos
A Foundation Of Faith
The history of the church of Christ in the United States can be chronicled through the life and writings of the editors in its journals. To this end, this issue of the Gospel Advocate is dedicated to F. Furman Kearley, who died March 1, 2003. Kearley was editor of the Gospel Advocate from 1985 to 1999.
To illustrate the breadth and depth of his work, articles have been selected from Furman's writings that reflect the stature of this man. From his youth, he prepared himself spiritually, emotionally and intellectually for his life's vocation, to preach and to teach the Word of God.
We have also included a series of tributes from Furman's family, friends and colleagues to reaffirm the strength of his spiritual convictions along with the balanced life he lived and taught. For 48 years he and his wife, Helen, worked closely together as servants of God. Helen died in 1999. In their 48 years of marriage, the Kearleys enjoyed traveling across the country in their motor home. This allowed Furman to preach in many different locations. The Kearleys were a close-knit family and a source of strength to him. As you will read on pages 32-33, the family loved to be outdoors whether camping, horseback riding or playing a ball game.
First and foremost, the foundation of Furman's faith was based on the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. To emphasize the importance of this belief, I quote from the Holman Concise Bible Dictionary, "Inerrancy refers to the truth of Scripture. Belief in the Bible as the infallible, authoritative. and reliable Word of God has always been a firm and crucial doctrine of the church, having as its base the very nature of God and character of the Bible itself. ... Because God is truth, His revelation in Scripture is true and entirely trustworthy" (318).
Furman was a conscientious student of the Word. Whether Furman was preaching from a pulpit or teaching in his classroom, he strongly encouraged everyone to study the Bible and then obey God's commands to be saved. He often expressed concern that Americans were becoming biblically illiterate and that Christian training was declining among children. Furman agreed with an earlier editor, David Lipscomb, who said. "Until the church instills the Christian religion into the hearts of children with almost every breath it will never have faithful, true, devoted members of the church."
Educated in liberal arts, science and the Bible, including biblical languages, Furman was an effective, popular university professor. His motto was to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:1-2).
Few men among us are able to write across the broad spectrum of issues within systematic theology as did Furman. He was capable of reasoning on the difficult issues of life. In his quest for truth he welcomed discussion, and an interchange of ideas. Furman was able to relate God's teachings in a practical manner. For him this was more than an academic interest or exercise. He was, as the Psalmist said, a lamp and a light.
According to Furman, "Humanists in the broad sense of the term are composed of liberals, unbelievers and evolutionists. One common denominator for all humanists is that they all hate the Bible."
Furman was especially adept at repudiating the errors of premillennialism and evolution. But he was equally at ease in discussions with such groups as atheists, infidels, unbelievers, denominationalists, the worldly, the materialistic and the ungodly.
Martel Pace's tribute of Furman Kearley reminded me of times when Furman and I talked about church problems. His response would be, "What bothers me most about the liberals in the church is that they want to tear down the old principles, but don't know how far they are going and don't seem to care." Furman was appalled when preachers and teachers put down biblical teaching, and he did not appreciate sarcasm or Bible-bashing.
Owen D. Olbricht of Harding University said of Furman, "He did a great service in his work for the Lord by being careful in remaining with the truth and by not going off on unimportant or unworthy and divisive tangents."
Furman Kearley's life epitomizes these words of David: "Your [God's] testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever. For they are the rejoicing of my heart" (Psalm 119:111).
My friendship with Furman and Helen spanned nearly 40 years. I will miss his counsel and his Christian example. His signature chuckle often was all it took to put things in perspective.
-Gospel Advocate, Editor, Neil Anderson, May, 2003, Vol. CXLV, No. 5, p.3
My Father's Eulogy
Most people remember my father as an educated and intellectual biblical scholar. Many remember him as a powerful and persuasive gospel preacher with an extensive knowledge of Scripture.
I knew him as a father, an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. My memories of him began when He was developing his skills on the road and extended to the legacy he leaves us now. The legacy He leaves us in tapes, publications, and the memories of hundreds of students and church members is personal and powerful.
My dad and I had a deal that began before I can remember. I could ride on his shoulders as long as I could play with his hair. We modified our agreement as I grew older, of course, but he always carried a comb in his pocket so that after I had tousled his hair, he could put in it place again.
He wore Old Spice aftershave. I thought it was made just for him and was the best smell in the world.
He loved people. His happiest times were playing board games with friends, directing camps and vacation Bible schools, and going door to door inviting people to church.
He loved baseball. I shagged fly balls for the team He coached at Alabama Christian. He taught me how to razz pitchers and to love the Saint Louis Cardinals. He once had an extensive collection of baseball cards that he was sure his aunt had thrown away. He missed those cards his entire life.
He loved history. When He preached, he usually gave the historical context of the scriptures and situations to which he referred. His doctorate was in ancient Near-Eastern history and languages. But his interest in history spanned more than that.
He had followed Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Pacific campaigns as a boy with a map published in the newspaper. He took us on historical vacations. I have stood with my father at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, the Statue of Liberty, the old North Church, and the grave of Alexander Campbell.
He loved music. He taught Amy and me and many others vacation Bible school songs and shape-note singing. He regretted never learning to play the piano, but he made sure Amy and I learned to play. And he was pleased that all his grandchildren had learned to sing and play musical instruments.
My father taught me to whistle one night while we were waiting in the parking lot of the Montgomery Coliseum for the 4th of July fireworks. He taught me how to shoot a gun and make pineapple sandwiches and peanut butter crackers so that the peanut butter squeezed out the sides and we had to lick it off to keep from making a mess.
He loved the beauty and peace of nature. I spent time with him at Bellingrath Gardens, on sandy beaches, camping in the woods, walking west Texas fields at sunrise and riding a horse.
He loved learning. Four master' s degrees and a doctorate were only a small part of his own education. He believed learning, studying and debate were tools for seeking the truth. He taught me that if I could read, I could do anything.
I remember my first lesson from him in plant biology and human physiology. I was 6 and in the first grade at Alabama Christian School on the same campus as the college where Dad taught. I was eating lunch and swallowed an orange seed. I panicked. I jumped out of my seat and sprinted the quarter mile down the sidewalk and up to the second-floor classroom where my dad was teaching chemistry.
I burst into his class crying. "Daddy, I swallowed an orange seed!" The class laughed and Dad snickered, but He stepped down from the podium and took me on his knee. I was sure an orange tree was going to grow in my stomach. He wiped my tears with his handkerchief and said, "Don't worry, Jan. That seed can't grow in your stomach. There's too much acid and not enough dirt."
He approached everything he did with passion and intensity. He continued full-time preaching and doctoral studies for six months on crutches after he broke his ankle. He agonized over the papers he graded for his students. I wish there had been witnesses for the theological grilling I received from him when I told him I wanted to be baptized.
F. Furman Kearley was my father. He was my hero.
He is now where he always sought to be. He knows what he always wanted to know. He is in the company of those whose company he always sought.
He is safe in the arms of God.
-Gospel Advocate, by Janice Kearley Mink, May, 2003, Page 32
Dear Friends and Family,
The days pass quickly as there is so much to do, but as I try to sleep, my mind begins to wind through a series of thoughts. At first I am sad as I envision scenes like walking through the house and not ever being able to see my dad again; of not being able to kiss him and tell him I love him each night before I go to bed; of not having him to look in on when I wake up at 2:00 in the morning.
After a flow of tears, my mind goes to a happier place, however, realizing that in the midst of pain, my heavenly Father has blessed me in so many ways through six years of illness and loss and my mind begins to fill quickly with happier scenes such as seeing my father and mother walk hand in hand - visiting with so many friends and loved ones who have gone before - worshiping like they have never worshiped before.
Before long all I can feel is thankful. Thankful for a father who saw all the girls in his life through rose-colored glasses and loved us like we had no faults; a father who taught me commitment and set a pattern of dedication to God that has never waivered throughout my entire life; a father who loved his wife like no other I have seen.
I am thankful for Lora, my good friend and my father's secretary and caretaker, who made it possible for me to keep my dad at home; took Dad out to eat in driving rainstorms; let him walk with a cane when it was so much easier to use the walker; gave my father a reason to look forward to each new day.
I am thankful for a sister who shares memories with me and understands things about our lives that no one else can and friends who do unbelievable things for you and do not expect anything in return.
I am thankful for my beautiful in-laws who have come to us for every holiday and helped more than they know and for my children's friends who were so kind to my dad.
I am thankful for David, Bethany and Kacey who never complained or made me feel guilty for the sacrifices they had to make, who acted like everyday in our house was the way everyone lived, who gave me the greatest gift I could ever ask for, to be able to care for and bury both of my parents without regret. I am thankful most of all for my precious Lord and Savior who has given me the strength to make it through each day and through whom I have the hope of seeing my loved ones again.
May God bless each of you and
keep you until we can all worship together again with my parents in heaven.
Amy Kearley Johnson
-Gospel Advocate, MAY 2003, page 33
Tributes To F. Furman Kearley
A Blessing to Family
Ruth Suggs Duke, Esther Suggs Jones, Jeanie Suggs Sullivan, Cousins of Furman Kearley's mother
From humble beginnings, Furman became a widely recognized Christian scholar, author, lecturer and minister of the gospel. His devotion to God grew from his early childhood. As one of a large number of cousins of his generation, he was greatly admired by this extended family. Although the Lord blessed him greatly with friends and earthly praise, he never forgot his humble beginnings and exhibited great love for his extended personal family on many occasions.
The Suggs' descendants have been richly blessed by the many honors accorded Furman and through the respect of his Christian peers.
Learning From Furman
Eulogy given by Jimmy Jividen at the funeral of Furman Kearley
We are here to mourn a death and to celebrate the life of a very uncommon man. Blessed with a great mind, a diligent spirit and a humble heart, he rose above his peers to lead, to learn and to share his faith. He was devout in his faith and holy in his life.
Some of you are family. You have experienced his family love.
As a father, his greatest wish was to bring his children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. His daughters knew that.
As a husband, he learned to live with Helen according to knowledge, giving honor to her as a weaker vessel. You can hardly think of them as separate, they were so entwined in each other's life.
Some of you are educators. You knew of his love of learning. You respected his scholarship, two doctoral degrees and the books, pamphlets, scholarly articles and practical essays he authored without number. He taught at five Christian colleges I know of and contributed his teaching skills and vast knowledge to preaching schools.
He was always in the quest of the truth. Like those in Berea, he received the word readily and searched the Scriptures to see if what was being taught was so. He affirmed truth zealously and exposed error boldly. He contended earnestly for the faith.
I was honored to work with him on several projects and got to know the broad scope of his scholarship and the humble spirit he manifested in its use.
Some of you are businessmen and women. You knew of his integrity. His word was his bond. He could be depended on in community projects and city services. He made any place he lived a better place. He was benevolent to the physical needs of the community, but most of all he promoted the spiritual and ethical welfare of those among whom he dwelt. He was leaven, light and salt wherever he lived, and by his life was God glorified.
Some of you are his friends. Furman knew the meaning and demands of friendship. He was a friend "that sticketh closer than a brother." He took the time to express his friendship in multitudes of ways and at the most needed times. He demonstrated the truthfulness of the proverb that "a friend stands by you at all times.
Most of us are Christians. It is in this dimension that Furman is best known and loved. He was a disciple, and He knew the cost of discipleship. He was willing to take up his cross and follow Jesus. He knew that only by losing his life could he save it.
Some of you are his students. He saw you as more than a person on the roll book. You were a living, learning opportunity. He sought to share his knowledge and to strengthen your faith. His assignments might have been difficult, but by them you became educated and wise.
Furman Kearley has touched our lives for good, and we honor his memory. We are blessed by his unwavering faith and rejoice in his confident hope. A humble, noble and faithful man has walked among us, and we have been made better because of him.
A Renaissance Man
Cecil May Jr., Montgomery, Ala.
Furman Kearley was a "Renaissance Man." He had a wide range of interests and mastered the knowledge and skills inherent in many disciplines.
Magnolia Bible College requires the full range of liberal arts courses usual for a college or university bachelor's degree. When Dr. Kearley arrived as dean, we found he was academically qualified to teach virtually every course in our curriculum, from science to history to literature, including Bible and all biblical languages. He was a baseball coach in his early career at Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University.) His 7,000 plus volume library included not only classic and modern reference works on biblical language and history but also a complete collection of Louis Lamour westerns.
He was a Bible scholar of the first rank and taught Bible from the Hebrew and Greek texts. He was deeply concerned about the moral shift away from God in our country and about a doctrinal shift away from the authority of Scripture in many churches and universities.
Before his final illness, Faulkner University had offered, and he had accepted, a position on the Bible faculty. It is the university's loss, the brotherhood's loss and ultimately the whole world's loss that he was unable to fulfill that dream.
In addition, Furman Kearley and his wife Helen were our beloved friends. Before they came to Mississippi to work with us, Winnie and I would seek them out whenever there was an opportunity to be with them. They were great traveling companions. In Mississippi we worked in close concert daily and were together for meals often several times a week. We enjoyed the same foods as well as sharing many of the same perspectives as we conversed.
He was known by people everywhere as a scholar, writer and teacher. Furman Kearley was also a delightful human being, a devoted Christian and a good friend.
From a Student's Perspective
Roger Rush, Marietta, Ohio
F. Furman Kearley was a Christian gentleman, a biblical scholar, and an outstanding gospel preacher. His life blended the qualities of scholarship and discipleship into effective leadership in the classroom, in the pulpit, and on the editorial page.
My first encounter with Furman was in the fall of 1971 when he was the chairman of the department of Bible at Lubbock Christian University. Over the years his friendship, encouragement and counsel have been a great source of strength and comfort to me.
As a teacher, Furman was a man of profound intellect. He taught with clarity and conviction. His knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, ancient history, church history and biblical narrative was impressive. But more impressive than his vast knowledge was his deep commitment to Scripture and to the Lord revealed therein. In the classroom he was demanding, but always fair. I often joked with him about the nightmares I had for a year after I graduated. I would wake up certain I had failed to complete a notebook, write a paper, or finish another of his assignments.
As a minister, he loved the church and preaching. At Monahans, Texas, he preached and served as editor of the Gospel Advocate. It was one of the most productive and enjoyable periods of his life.
Furman had a profound influence not only on my life, but also the lives of countless others in his role as an educator. He had an even more profound impact on the church in his role as editor of the Gospel Advocate. In the tradition of his predecessors, he brought to that position an uncompromising commitment to the truth presented in love, a commitment that continues under the editorship of Neil W. Anderson.
Those who knew him as I did never had cause to doubt his love for Christ, his devotion to Helen and his family, nor his commitment to the gospel.
For the past 32 years Furman has been an important part of my life - teacher, brother, friend and counselor. I know that I am but one of many whose life and ministry were enriched by him. My family and I treasure the many times he and Helen were in our home. They were part of our family, and they made us feel part of theirs.
A humble servant of God has gone on to his reward. There is comfort in that thought and in the realization that we shall meet again.
From Furman's Teacher
Jack P. Lewis, Memphis, Tenn.
F. Furman Kearley came to Harding Graduate School of Religion with a limitless and undying love for Rex Turner Sr. who had been his teacher at Alabama Christian College. Throughout his entire life, "Brother Turner" was frequently on his lips. From Turner and others, he had an uncompromising love for the Scriptures and for the Lord's church.
Furman had the good fortune to select Helen Bowman as his wife, and in addition to being his wife, she became his right hand, serving as his capable secretary, typing his papers and discharging other secretarial tasks. She multiplied what he was able to do.
Furman followed me into the interfaith program at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, while preaching for the Garrard Street congregation in Covington, Ky. He completed his doctorate with distinction in 1971. Furman and Helen had unusual ability in winning the love of the people in the congregations where they served. Invitations back for funerals were common. When the congregation at Covington had internal conflict, they turned to Furman for mediation.
As his teacher, I found satisfaction in the success of the student as Furman moved to head the Bible department of Lubbock Christian University and later when he moved to Abilene Christian University where he became director of graduate Studies.
Furman's appreciation for the teacher led him. Ed Myers, and Timothy Hadley to honor me by editing jointly Biblical Interpretation Principles and Practices, 1986.
Furman's ambitions in life were tied to the welfare of the Lord's church to which he was totally loyal. Although seeking to make the church more conformable to Scripture, he was not among the "change advocates." To be invited to be editor of the Gospel Advocate was no small accomplishment for him. The gainsayers who echoed, "Furman Who?", at the announcement were put to shame.
On occasion a letter would come from Furman requesting the writing of an article for an issue he was planning. He projected the including of a lengthy article on "The Argument From Silence in Reformation Thought," a summary of which had appeared in the Gospel Advocate, in a volume he was planning, but the volume remains incomplete.
We were distressed at the news of a decline in Helen's health and her death. There followed news of Furman's own problems, and then a final Christmas letter from him in the past December which shared future plans.
Heaven's gain is our loss! We will miss you, Furman!
A Wonderful Scholar
Leon Crouch. Lubbock,Texas
Dr. Kearley was a long time friend and co-worker. He was one of the best scholars in the brotherhood. He will be sorely missed by his friends and those who knew him.
The Bond of Friendship
Maxie Boren, Lubbock,Texas
In June 1971 my family and I moved to Lubbock, Texas, for me to preach at the Green Lawn congregation next to Lubbock Christian College (now university). Among the first people we met there were Furman and Helen Kearley. Furman was head of the Bible department at the college, and we immediately bonded in a close friendship that lasted throughout the rest of their lives.
Furman and Helen were wonderful Christian people - down to earth, loving and giving. On numerous occasions, they were in our home or we were in theirs for social activities. We also had many mutual friends. We enjoyed those wonderful periods of fellowship together.
Later, the Kearleys moved to Abilene where he served as chairman of the graduate Bible department at Abilene Christian University. My brother Jodie and his wife Peggy lived in Abilene and became friends with the Kearleys as we had become. We stayed close with them while they were in Abilene; when they lived in Monohans, Texas; and when they moved to Mississippi. We called each other on the phone or exchanged letters frequently.
Fran and I visited them once in Mississippi, where Furman served with Magnolia Bible College, and we had dinner that evening with the Cecil Mays. Cecil treated all of us to dinner, and we and the Kearleys talked about that several times. We spent that night at the Kearley home and sat up very late for a good old-fashioned visit.
During the last dozen years, as director of the Fort Worth Bible lectureship, I was privileged to have Furman speak on several occasions. One year we honored him, a man so very deserving of brotherhood recognition, although he never sought such accolades.
Most recently, while living in Corsicana, Texas, Furman taught most every quarter over a period of three years or so in the Brown Trail School of Preaching. He was scheduled to teach in the spring quarter that started March 24. Knowing of his serious health problems and not wanting him to overdo himself, I called him 10 days or so before he died to make sure he was "up to it." He assured me he was and that he wanted to keep teaching. That's the kind of great Christian he was, using his talents to communicate God's Word at every opportunity as long as he could. Furman and Helen will forever be in our hearts. Through the grace of God, we anticipate seeing them again when all of God's children gather home on shores eternal.
Knowing the Kearleys
Cecil May III, Fulton, KY.
On Saturday, March 1, at about 7:30 p.m. a reunion for Helen and Furman Kearley took place somewhere in the heavenly realms. Helen had preceded Furman to be with the Lord by a couple of years. Until Helen was discovered to have breast cancer, one would not have expected her to go ahead of Furman. It was Furman who had severe diabetes. It was Furman who had suffered a heart attack while doing mission work in Russia and had to undergo heart surgery there. It was Furman who had a tendency for stroke. However, once Helen's cancer was discovered, she fought briefly, then flew quickly away.
Furman depended so much on Helen. He wrote extensively and edited others' writings in his capacity as editor of the Gospel Advocate. Helen did much of the organizing, keyboarding, checking and filing of those writings. He was a teacher and administrator at several of our colleges and universities including Lubbock Christian University, Faulkner University and Magnolia Bible College. With Helen as his personal assistant, he could afford to play the part of the brilliant, absent-minded professor, for she handled his schedule. Helen was a CPA and took care of their finances. She accompanied him in his many travels. Helen was Furman's constant companion and helper. They drew joy from one another and the many ministries they served together. After she was borne to the banquet table of the Lord, he frequently spoke and wrote of the void he constantly felt.
So, Furman left behind earthly family and friends he loved as he, too, went to be with the Lord - and with Helen.
I am not a great preacher, but I have been fortunate to spend time with great preachers. Furman Kearley was one of those. Though it was Dr. Kearley's death that prompted this tribute, I could not just write about him. In my acquaintance I rarely thought of just him. The Kearleys were so entwined in marriage, in work, in ministry, and in spirit that I always thought and almost always spoke of them together: "Dr. and Mrs. Kearley" "Brother and Sister Kearley" "Furman and Helen."
Their reunion must have been so joyous that tears of sadness are not really called for. I shed a tear, anyway.
Leaving a Legacy
Mary Fleming, Seminole, Texas
It was my privilege to become acquainted with the Kearleys in 1978 when Helen and I worked together in an ad valorem tax consulting firm in Abilene. Her work ethic was unsurpassed, a compliment to any Christian.
Furman had no peers when it came to his humility, his scholarship, and his genuine love of people. During a period of time, he preached for a small congregation at Burkett, Texas, in Coleman County, south of Abilene, and I had occasion to visit there many times. Those people, very much the products of hard work and living close to the soil, loved Furman and seemed not to be aware that he was of such superior quality when it came to studying and presenting the Word every time the congregation came together. Furman and Helen established their residence in that community for several years and were held close to the hearts of everyone, both Christians and those who had not espoused the Way.
Perhaps the greatest legacy the two of them left is their love and respect for each other. They were the epitome of what the Lord planned, I believe, when he set forth the roles for man and woman.
Finding a Mentor
Martel Pace, Montgomery, Ala.
I first met Furman Kearley when he was in graduate school at Harding University (when it was still on the Searcy Campus) and I was an undergraduate student. My wife and I lived in a one-room apartment made from old army barracks, and thus it was called "Vet Village." Around the corner in what we then thought were upper-crust apartments lived Furman and family in a three-room apartment. He was then and always thereafter a Christian gentleman, a rather quiet, unassuming young man, of whom greatness was not expected by me. I'm sure his teachers saw much of the scholar's nature in him, however.
When I completed a manuscript in 1994, I sent Furman a copy because he had agreed to evaluate it for me. Soon came back a splendid letter that described the purpose of the treatise better than I had grasped it. He graciously permitted Me to use it as an endorsement on the back cover. He saw it as a defense of the Restoration principle.
In talking of church problems he said, "What bothers me most about the liberals in the church is that they want to tear down the old principles but don't know how far they are going and don't seem to care." This concerned him deeply. Although he defended the faith with great urgency, He was not out of balance and never allowed the Gospel Advocate to be a one-theme paper.
A true scholar has gone from us, one who was fair and kind. I grew to love and appreciate him. He once mentioned that in Hebrew Union he came across a six language translation of the Bible and that his most enlightening times were spent daily in reading it, all six of its languages being familiar to him. His love for the Word and its Lord was never diminished.
Watching the Boy Become a Man
Van B. Ingram, Vernon, Ala.
It was my privilege to come to know Edwin and Furman Kearley and their mother when the boys were quite young. Sister Kearley, a widow, was well-known for her faithfulness to Christ, and the way she was rearing her two young sons.
It was a privilege to be near when Furman and Helen met and married. It was a joy to see the blossoming of a young man who would become not only a loving husband and father, but also a brilliant student of God's Word who would walk among the spiritual giants of his generation. It was a blessed privilege to have him as a friend and brother in Christ.
-Gospel Advocate, May, 2003, pages 34-38
Obituary Of Furman Kearley
F. Furman Kearley was born November 7, 1932 in Snowden, Alabama. He passed away Saturday, March 1, 2003 at his residence in Corsicana, Texas. Visitation was held at the Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home. Memorial services were held March 7th, at the Westhill Church of Christ. Edward Myers, Neil Anderson, Jimmy Jividen, Cecil May, Ferman Carpenter, Roger Rush and Joe Barnett officiated. Pallbearers included: Michael Kearley, Michael Mink, David Johnson, Randy Hodges, Chuck Lawrence, Barney Johnson, and Joe Cope. Burial took place at the Hamiton-Beeman Cemetery south of Corsicana in the community of Retreat.
Brother Kearley was preceded in death by his wife, Helen J. Bowman Kearley; his brother, W. Edwin Kearley; and sister, Cleo Kearley. Survivors included his daughters and sons-in-law, Janice Gail Mink and Michael of Tyler, Amelia Lynn Johnson and David of Corsicana; grandchildren, Stella Joy Mink, Andrea Leigh Mink, Jennifer Nicole Mink, Bethany Joy Johnson and Kacey Lynn Johnson; brothers, Cecil Kearley, James Kearley and Joe Kearley; sister-in-law, Flora Kearley; and nieces and nephews, Marsha Meehan, Melanie Kearley, Melinda Vineyard and Michael Kearley.
Memorials were suggested to be made to Magnolia Bible College, Southern Christian University, Faulkner University, Midwestern Children's Home and Brown Trail School of Preaching.
-Corsicana Daily Sun, March 5, 2003, Obituary
Directions To The Grave of Furman & Helen Kearley
The grave of F.F. Kearley is located in Navarro County, south of the city of Corsicana, in the township of Retreat, Texas, in the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery. Take I-45 to exit 231 and head west on Hwy. 31 (W. 7th Ave.) Turn left on Hwy. 709 (S. 15th St.) and head south of town. Hwy. 709 will bear to the right. Continue on Hwy. 709 about 2 miles and turn right on CR2555, Hamilton Road. The Cemetery will be up a drive on your right. Head through the entrance of the cemetery and immediately take a hard turn back to your right, and follow the fence row back to the south end of the cemetery. Turn left at the end, and go to second section on left. Look for a "two-heart" shaped monument with "KRAUTER" on it. The Kearley monument is next to it in the block. This is located at the most southern section of the cemetery.
Acc to 14 ft.
D.M.S. 32°02'34.9"N 96°28'45.2"W
or D.d. 32.043033, 96.479217
or D.M.Min N32° 02.582' x WO 96° 28.753'
Grave Faces East
8th Addition / Section B/ Lot 10
Cemetery Map Showing Location Of Kearley Monument
Special Note: It was the privilege of this websited editor to have known F. Furman Kurley. He was editor for the Gospel Advocate when I knew him. He was a most intelligent, genuine and kind man.