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Dr.  Joseph T. Fuhrmann

Obituary for Dr. Joseph T. Fuhrmann

November 29, 1940 - March 24, 2018
Murray, Kentucky | Age 77


Dr. Joseph T. Fuhrmann, 77, of Murray, Kentucky, died March 24th at Spring Creek Health Care under Anna Mae Owen Hospice Care. He was born November 29th, 1940, in Gadsden, Alabama, to Dr. Paul T. Fuhrmann and Esther Bruce Fuhrmann. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he received his BA from Emory University. As a PhD student in History at Indiana University at Bloomington he attended Moscow University from 1965 to 1966.

He taught History at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he met his future wife, Mary. They were married March 1st, 1969. He later taught at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. In 2010 he completed his career as a Professor of Russian History at Murray State University, where he taught for thirty-two years (including a semester at Regensburg, Germany). He was always very interested in his students. Fluent in Russian, he made several research trips to Russia, including Siberia. He was the author of seven books, which include authoritative works on the father of Tsar Peter the Great, on Nicholas II (the last tsar) and his family, and on the politically-powerful mystic and healer Rasputin. He was interviewed several times for documentaries on the History Channel and A&E.

Dr. Fuhrmann loved classical music and served as an opera commentator for WKMS. An avid numismatist, he was a coin dealer prior to his retirement. Eccentric and forgetful, he left little trails of umbrellas, keys, or whatever, but most were kindly brought back to him. He could be brusque, yet charming, never less than authentic to who he was, so that some might like him, others not, but everyone knew who he was. To the end, he was kind and lovable. He enjoyed simple creature comforts: naps, good food, and Hank Williams's music. He and his wife Mary were great dog-lovers and enjoyed watching Jeopardy! and playing Scrabble. Dr. Fuhrmann battled alcoholism. At the time of his passing he had 15 years of sobriety, was a respected member of Murray's Alcoholic Anonymous group, and had helped many fellow alcoholics and addicts in their recovery process. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Numismatic Association, the American Historical Association, and the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies.

Preceded in death by his parents, he is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter Maria (Keith Humphreys) of Memphis, Tennessee; son, Dr. Christopher J. Fuhrmann (Tiffany Fuhrmann) of Denton, Texas; grandchildren Istra, Elise, and Xavier; and dear family friend Joey Vicars.

Visitation will be Wednesday March 28th, beginning at 11AM at St. Leo's Catholic Church, followed by a funeral-mass there at 1 PM, then burial at Murray City Cemetery. A simple reception in the Parish Center will follow this celebration of Dr. Fuhrmann's life. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services or to Murray Needline via St. Leo's Catholic Church.

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J. H. Churchill Funeral Home

201 S. 3rd Street
Murray, KY 42071
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