Ann Longwell Furr COLUMBIA - Ann Longwell Furr, lifelong adventurer and beloved mother, grandmother, cousin, and friend, died at her home on October 12, 2016, of cancer. She was surrounded by loved ones. Born in Jackson, Tenn., on May 25, 1945, Ann was the only child of the late Thomas J. and Sarah Frances Longwell. Ann's life was full of achievements and joys, the greatest of which is her daughter, Shannon Furr Bobertz, whom she adored. Ann was devoted to Shannon, her son-in-law, Jason, and her granddaughter, Sarah, upon whom she bestowed her lifelong love of travel and learning. Ann's love of travel began in high school when she studied abroad in Holland with the American Field Service (AFS). Ann received a bachelor's degree in education from the University of South Carolina, and she taught first grade until her then husband, O. Fayrell Furr, Jr., was drafted for the Vietnam War. She decided to follow him to Vietnam and worked for the Salvation Army in the Saigon city jail as a social worker. She received the Social Service Medal 2nd Class from the mayor of Saigon for her contributions to the country in 1971. After the war, she earned her juris doctor in 1976 from the University of South Carolina, where she was a member of the Law Review and graduated with honors. Ann opened a general law practice and became a part-time municipal judge for the city of Columbia, where she served for 15 years. She was the first woman judge on the court, and she later became the chief judge. She was a trailblazer for women lawyers. Always an adventurer, Ann traveled to over seventy-five countries over her lifetime. Ann visited every continent. She ventured to Cuba during the embargo, Vietnam and Afghanistan during wars, and Antarctica. After her retirement, she joined the Peace Corps where she lived in a Bedouin Village in Jordan for two years, and she later served in both Afghanistan and Azerbaijan helping develop emerging legal systems. She had a lifelong affiliation with AFS, including her own study abroad experience, Shannon's study abroad experience in Turkey, hosting a foreign exchange student from Iceland, and serving on the National US-AFS Board of Directors. A leader by example, Ann encouraged others to explore the world and she took her granddaughter, Sarah, on several memorable trips including France and China. When reflecting on her life, Ann stated that her final years were the best of all, as she was surrounded by her loving daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, and an enormous group of lifelong friends. Ann was a guest columnist for The State newspaper, with articles about her time in the Peace Corps while she was in Jordan, and The Columbia Star, where she authored a column entitled "Ask Ann." Ann will be remembered by those who loved her, and there are many, as a woman of unparalleled strength, humor, optimism, generosity, and an indomitable spirit. An inspiration to all who knew her, Ann will be dearly missed but never forgotten. Ann is survived by her beloved family: her daughter, Shannon Furr Bobertz; son-in-law, Jason Bobertz; and granddaughter, Sarah Bobertz. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Robert Furr (Sheila); sister-in-law, Ada Ann Furr Freeman (Curt); five lovely cousins, Bill Springer (Mary); Betty Watrous (Tom); Christine Cowan (Pete); Mary Jane Nelson (Bob), and Dick Longwell (JoAnn); her Icelandic exchange student, Brynhildur Yr Ottosdottir; and her numerous cherished lifelong friends. The visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday October 14 at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel. A memorial service to celebrate Ann's life will be held at Dunbar Funeral Home on Saturday, October 15 at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Ann's memory can be made to AFS-USA, 120 Wall Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 1005 or via their website at: https://www.afsusa.org/donate/ways-to-give/tribute-giving/ . Your memorial contributions will support the Fund for AFS-USA, impacting international education programs and AFS-USA's mission to create a more just and peaceful world through intercultural understanding. Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com .
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