Thursday, May 2, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
North Park Baptist Church
3365 Coit Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Friends may visit with Dave's family at Church beginning at 10 AM.
Please note that Coit Ave. is closed Northbound - you can use Paris Ave, just one block west, to access the church.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
North Park Baptist Church
3365 Coit Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Edison Christian Foundation
1000 Edison NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Someone once said that having somewhere to go is home, having someone to love is family, and that having both is a blessing. For Dave Fuhrmann, his faith and family was by far his greatest joy. With unending love, limitless dedication, and immeasurable devotion, Dave was a loving example of a man who served his Lord, family and community well. Although he will be dearly missed, Dave leaves a lasting legacy of honor and integrity to all he encountered.
The year 1940 introduced many new forms of entertainment for all to enjoy. The sounds of Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby filled the airwaves while some of the best movies made their debut. With World War II well underway overseas, America’s involvement was inevitable, and the first peacetime draft was put into place. Amidst these ever changing times in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, there was nothing more exciting in the lives of Harvey Lee and Addie (Hayes) Fuhrmann than the January 17, 1940 birth of their little boy, David Lee Fuhrmann.
Dave was joined five years later by his younger sister, Barbara. He grew up on Myrtle Street on the northwest side of Grand Rapids where he enjoyed boyhood adventures with neighborhood friends. He was cherished by his aunts and uncles as there weren’t many children in the family and he especially enjoyed summer visits to see extended family on their farm near Buffalo, New York. Dave’s youth was filled with his involvement in the Boy Scouts where his father served as a leader. Dave enjoyed the camping and the many survival skills he learned. He went on to become an accomplished Eagle Scout.
Dave went to Harrison Park Elementary School and on to Union High School but it was during his senior year when his family moved and in 1958 he graduated from Comstock Park High School. During his last years in high school and for a time after, Dave was in the Navy Reserves. In 1959, he joined the U.S. Air Force and for the next five years, he served predominately as an MP, stationed in Alaska, Iowa, and Maine. Dave enjoyed his time in the service having made several longtime friends along the way.
Dave returned home to Grand Rapids and worked as a police officer for the city of Wyoming, Michigan for a few years. After a short stint trying his hand as an electrician apprentice, he decided in 1967 to return to law enforcement and found his longtime career with the Grand Rapids Police Department. Dave genuinely enjoyed helping others and loved being part of his community. He spent most of his time as a patrol officer but also did some crime scene investigating, too.
For most of his career, Dave worked third shift. He liked working third, but it did affect his sleep. In fact, Dave could sleep anywhere and at anytime. It never took him long to nod off and quite amazingly, almost instantly. Coffee was Dave’s blood type! So much so that he had instant coffee in his bathroom to get him started first thing.
Things were going well for Dave as a young man yet his life was about to take some welcome turns and her name was Nancy Downing. He first became acquainted with Nancy when she and Dave’s younger sister were playmates. They lived in the same neighborhood and Nancy remembers Dave taking her and Barb to the beach. As fate would have it, many years later their paths crossed once again. By this time, Nancy had graduated from high school and was standing up for Barbara at her wedding. It was then when Dave and Nancy took notice of one another in a more meaningful way and began dating.
A life changing event took place in Dave’s life in 1966, when he was watching a Billy Graham Crusade being televised from the Welsh Auditorium right in Grand Rapids. That night Dave gave his life to Christ and from that point on he was never the same. Billy Graham held a high spot in Dave’s life going forward as Dave read books he authored and as he listened to his sermons. Dave couldn’t wait to meet him some day. Dave was a good man yet this change affected him in matters of the heart. His perspective on things had a clear direction as he earnestly placed his trust and faith in the Lord.
It was indeed a new beginning for Dave, and on June 10, 1967, Dave and Nancy were happily married at Valley Avenue United Methodist Church. They honeymooned at Nancy’s grandparent’s cottage on Elk Lake and since she was still in nursing school, they settled into an apartment near the hospital. A couple of years later their family began to grow with the birth of their first child and it continued to grow by one child every other year until their family of six was complete. Their greatest blessings, the births of their children, Lora, Amy, David Jr., and James filled their lives with great love and joy.
Dave was a good, strong and loving father to his children. He was honest and fair, and he looked out for the other children in the neighborhood, too. He and Nancy worked hard to make a good home for their children. Since he worked third shift, Nancy took charge of the day-to-day business around the house, but together they raised their family in faith, teaching them the meaning of hard work, responsibility, and chores. Dave was particularly good about establishing order.
Through the years numerous memories were made and enjoyed as a family. They made time for fun, and Dave loved nothing more than horsing around with the kids. They took trips to his relative’s farm in New York several times. Sometimes it was the destination, while at other times it was only a temporary layover or launching spot for other exciting adventures during the summer.
Faith played a vital role in their lives which was all encompassing and intentional. They were active members at Calvary Baptist Church where they were each involved. Many great times were enjoyed at Camp Calvary which happened to be Dave’s old Boy Scout camp the church bought. Dave loved teaching his kids the skills he learned such as how to make Sassafras tea, and how to use sumac to make water taste good. Most importantly, he taught them that who they are today was a direct result of the decisions they had already made and to continue on this path would determine their future.
In 1992, Dave and Nancy moved to their home in Walker and later in 1995, he retired. Dave knew how to fix just about anything and was quite the handyman around the house. In retirement he loved watching police shows on TV and was sure to point out the inconsistencies with real life. He also enjoyed HAM Radio – call sign KA8SAU. Volunteering in a number of ways was also something he enjoyed doing for his community. Dave loved to jump in and volunteer and was just as entertaining doing so. For a time he worked as a weather spotter for Skyward in addition to working in maintenance for Alpine Township. He also delivered subpoenas and worked at the post office. Wherever he went, Dave was sure to run into someone he knew, and the two things he did very quickly was to make friends, and nod off for a nap!
Dave loved their travels to see their grandchildren. He just beamed when he and Nancy were able to carry the twins, their first grandchildren, to the nursery in the hospital and getting them their junior deputy badges. He absolutely loved spending time with the grandchildren bouncing them on his knee, holding them as they slept, taking them for rides on his lawnmower, and letting them dress up in his old uniforms. For all the good times, nothing was more important than his faith and family.
For many years, Dave struggled with heart issues. Three years ago he was very ill but in God’s mercy, he was blessed with three more years. Dave saw life differently at that point and truly came to value what mattered most. It also gave him time to nurture and teach Nancy how to live more independently. Even recently he’d say, “If I’m not here in the morning, you know where I’m waiting for you!” Dave was ready to join his Lord and Savior and had a list of people he couldn’t wait to meet that had gone before him, yet he could hardly bare the thought of leaving his beloved Nancy alone.
A friend of many and a stranger to none, Dave touched many people throughout his life journey - his family, his church family, and those in the community he served. He lived a life of intentional faith, and quick to help others, he will be long remembered for all that he was, and more.
David Lee Fuhrmann Sr., age 79 of Walker, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on April 27, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; children Lora & David Beverly, Amy & Jeff Bragg, David Fuhrmann Jr, and James & Lucy Fuhrmann; grandchildren Rachel, Nicole, DJ, Megan, and Sean Beverly, Caleb, and Abi Bragg, Emily, Addie and Jimmy Fuhrmann; sister, Barbara (David) Hoy; nieces, nephews and many friends. David was preceded in death by two granddaughters, Hannah and Sarah Bragg. The service to remember and celebrate Dave’s eternal life through his Savior will be held Thursday, May 2, 2019, 11:00 AM at North Park Baptist Church, 3365 Coit Ave. NE. Friends are invited to visit with Dave’s family Wednesday, 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and at church beginning at 10 AM on Thursday. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either North Park Baptist Church or the Edison Christian Foundation are appreciated. To read more about Dave’s life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.