Pat Adams Furlong (Sign Guestbook)

Furlong, Pat Adams, age 76, made her transition on Thursday, November 15th at home.

Mrs. Furlong was a noted poet and writer whose brilliant mind and creative spirit enriched many lives. Many of her poems were published nationally and her book of poetry Giving Voice sold over 3,000 copies. Her essay on the poetry of May Sarton, completed as part of her work at UT for her masters in creative writing, was so notable it was published by UT Press as part of a book of literary criticism on the works of May Sarton. Pat was encouraged and inspired by UT professor and kindred spirit, Dr. Marilyn Kallet.

Mrs. Furlong was the oldest of 3 daughters born to the union of Eliza Patterson James and William McCall Adams, both of Scotland County, NC. Although not a prideful person, she nevertheless cherished her deep roots as a Tar Heel going all the way back to the McCormicks who settled near Wilmington in the early 18th century. Pat’s 3rd great-grandfather Hinton James, was the first student to enroll at UNC- Chapel Hill (the nation’s oldest state university) in 1795. He went on to serve the state in various capacities. Pat’s grandfather Hinton James II served his district in the US Congress and later as State Commissioner of Agriculture.

Mrs. Furlong attended Converse College in Spartanburg, SC and later graduated from St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, NC with a double major in English and French. She was a certified teacher of both subjects as well as a certified teacher of gifted children. She taught at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte and later at various schools in Knox County, TN.

Pat was a life-long advocate for the mentally ill and took her advocacy to Washington where she met with Tipper Gore, in addition, she was the keynote speaker at the National Conference of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1995 where she also read a number of her poems.

Pat leaves to celebrate her life, her husband of 51 years and 11 months, William Kells Furlong, her son Gregory Kells Furlong of Knoxville, her daughter Lara Kathryn Furlong of Charlotte, and her grandchildren Kellsie Ann Furlong and Nicholas William Furlong also of Charlotte. She also leaves behind her sister Emily Aberle of Wilmington, NC.

Mrs. Furlong was a life-long Christian. She was baptized as an infant and later as an adult, she reaffirmed her faith by being baptized by immersion. She studied bible continuously and traveled to Madisonville for 4 semesters to study under the late bible scholar, Evelyn Laycock. Pat was also privileged to study under Dr. Lee Humphries at UT. Although raised a Presbyterian, she became an Episcopalian shortly after marriage. She was a 30-year member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Knoxville.

A traditional Funeral Mass with Eucharist will be held at The Episcopal Church of Ascension on Tuesday, November 20th at 12:00 noon with a Visitation with Friends to follow. A Graveside Service will be held at the East Tennessee State Veteran’s Cemetery on Wednesday, November 21st at 9:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the National Association of the Blind in Knoxville or The Episcopal Church of the Ascension. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Furlong family and invites you to view and sign the online registry below.

46 guestbook entries for “Pat Adams Furlong”:

  1. Frances James Brown says:

    My dear cousin, Pat , was a gentle soul who meant so very much to all of us. Pat was admired and held in high esteem by me and I tried to emulate her kindness and softness to others less fortunate. Pat’s ability to pen her thoughts was unequaled . She desired to leave others with an understanding of her soul and the the struggles we all face in life. I offer prayers for Bill , Greg and Lara as you remember all the things you loved about Pat .

  2. Ganna Kidd says:

    Lara and family, I send my love to you and pray the LORD comfort you in your loss. She was such a sweet person and beautiful inside and out. Bless you. Ganna Kidd

  3. Rick Mende says:

    Thoughts and prayers with you. I loved Pat, and have missed the religious and philosophical chats we used to have. May God’s peace be with you at this time, and may happy memories comfort you always.

  4. Jane says:

    Such a beautiful person. Love and prayers for Bill and the children and Emily.

  5. Emily Aberle says:

    A beautifully written obituary, for my beautiful sister. She will be missed by so many people, friends and family. No more suffering for her, she is at peace in heaven with my parents, and my sister, Anita, but so hard for the ones left behind. Prayers to everyone whose lives she touched through her spirit and gift of life.

  6. Beacham McDougald says:

    The summers of the 1950’s and early 1960’s were spent by a generation at your father’s swimming pool and its always cold well water. You and your sisters were there most of the time when seemingly everyone knew everyone!

    Thanks for the memories, and how they prepared you for a beautiful life!

  7. Jane Adams Gibson says:

    Love and prayers to Bill and the children and my lovely cousin Emily. Pat was always so loving and sweet to me. Her faith was great and her gift of sharing beautiful words and helping those in need were obvious with her loving spirit. .. just a lovely person who is now free from disease , whole and new again with loved ones who are there waiting for us. I know she is restored and happy. Prayers of peace and comfort to those who loved her and are left behind. Bill, job well done caring for your beautiful wife.

  8. Betty Chance Decembrino says:

    Pat was my childhood neighbor, friend and school mate. I treasure her memory!

  9. Caroline Combs-Young says:

    Such a beautiful obituary for a beautiful soul. I’ve known Pat for most of my life. She taught me first how to understand poetry, second to appreciate it, and later, to love it. Lara, Bill, and Greg- I am so very sorry for your loss. May your memories provide with you comfort at this difficult time.

  10. Marilyn and Jim Caponetti says:

    A lovely write-up and photo. Pat and I met because of her writing and my typing—the Giving Voice mentioned above. Our families met and socialized. We counted babies, and we enjoyed the creative exercise of poetry with stamped decorations, of photos in scrapbook form, of questions about life. I can only hope Pat is getting some answers! Hugs to her family.

  11. Anna Calhoun says:

    Pat was a gifted and beautiful soul! She is now free and fully in the presence of God! Prayers ascending for her family and loved ones.

  12. Portia Causey says:

    I remember sweet Pat from when I was a childhood friend with Lara… Pat was such a gentle, nurturing lady. Once during a sleepover, I became ill, and she took such good care of me. I also remember her cottage cheese pancakes. Such a dear soul. I know she will be missed. May God comfort the family during this difficult time .💛
    -Portia Causey

  13. Anna Calhoun says:

    Pat was a gifted and beautiful soul! Prayers ascending for her family and loved ones.

  14. Marilyn Kallet says:

    Such a classy lady! She was a true poet, combining lyric poems with spiritual searching. Her work was always an inspiration to others. Extra love to your whole family, and patience in grieving.

    Dr. Marilyn Kallet

  15. Norma D Swiger says:

    Knowing Pat was a blessing to me. She was a brilliant lady and I always enjoyed her conversation. I will miss her by just knowing she is no longer with us here.
    May God bless her family and give them comfort as only He can do.

  16. Cathleen Elliott says:

    My love and prayers to all.

  17. Cathleen Elliott says:

    My love and prayers for all. Aunt Pat touched my life in many beautiful ways. I am grateful she is at peace. She was agentle and faithful.

  18. Marilyn Mae Randall says:

    I was with Pat at her installation as a Daughter of the King at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Knoxville several years ago. Such a kind and generous spirit!

  19. Jimmy & Ila Dalrymple says:

    Emily, we just saw this obituary. Pat was a smart and soft spoken person (childhood friends).

  20. "Elroy" Marks Snead says:

    Pat was a friend throughout our years in school, and I was among the many who enjoyed summers gathered around the Adams’ swimming pool. One of my favorite memories of Pat is my luck in having her write the news release for The Laurinburg Exchange covering my wedding to Sam. Having been away from home in college the previous four years, we had a wonderful visit catching up when she came to gather information for the article. As with all of her work, she gave us a lasting treasure with that writing. My heartfelt sympathy to her family. Rest in peace, sweet and brilliant lady. Heaven has a very special new angel.

  21. Steve says:

    I loved knowing Mrs Furlong she was a special person who gave so much to her family. We will miss her tremendously. God has her safe in a better place now.

  22. Pat Stanley Horn says:

    My very deepest sympathies go out to wonderful, intelligent, talented Pat’s family and other friends. It was a privilege to know her in our hometown and to correspond with her later when we shared our poetry, a love of writing, and spirituality. As she once wrote to me, “Stay journey proud ,” Pat. I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.

  23. Kenya Stafford says:

    Beautiful Pat.
    You did have a beautiful soul and mind; always saw the good in all. You will be remembered. I am grateful to have met and known you thru your daughter Lara.

  24. Jenny Fogarty says:

    So sorry for your loss. Pat was such a sweet spirit.

  25. Ronnie Gunter says:

    Bill, I’m so very sorry to read of Pat’s passing. She and I were friends from grade school in Laurinburg. I know how badly you must feel because I lost my wife 13 years ago. If I can do anything for you, please don’t hesitate to call on me.

  26. Sally Ainslie says:

    Please let me extend my sympathy for your loss. I am a friend of Lara and her children in Charlotte, NC and had the privilege to meet Pat a couple of times. She was a delight but I had no idea what a life she lived! She was an amazing woman! Please know I will hold the family in my prayers as you move through your loss and grief.
    Sally Ainslie

  27. Cathleen Elliott says:

    My thoughts and prayers for you all.

  28. Patty Becknell says:

    So sorry for your loss. Lara, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of celebrating your mother’s life. From my few visits with you and your parents, I know she was a sweet and kind lady and she will be missed by all.
    Patty Becknell

  29. Annie Sellers says:

    My heartfelt condolences to Bill, Lara and grandchildren, and Greg.
    It has been a pleasure to know your wife, and mom. Thank you for allowing me to care for her. She was a treasure! Our times out will be remembered. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady. I pray you find comfort in your time of mourning. May you be blessed.

  30. Phyllis Porter says:

    Bill, Greg and Lara
    Pat was such a sweet person and truly a follower of Jesus. I admired her greatly. I remember our talks and visits as neighbors in Broadacres in Powell. She had such a quiet and gentle spirit. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost Paul 8 years ago and I know what a hole it leaves in your hearts. We will always miss him. I have since remarried and my life feels complete again. Prayers and blessings to all of you. Phyllis Mercer Porter

  31. Debra Fergerson says:

    Bill, You & your family will be in my thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.

  32. Fr. Howard Hess says:

    Dear Bill and family,
    As Peg and I drive to Atlanta our hearts are full of memories about apt.she rare and gifted talents as a writer and thinker . Even in her most challenging times her intellect shone through.I am grateful to God that she is now in a peaceful place where her talents can shine once again.
    God Bless You,
    Howard and Peg Hess

  33. Fred Reker says:

    I first met Pat at their wedding after a long drive from Philadelphia with our 6 month old daughter in Porsche 911. She was a rare find and talented Christian Lady indeed. As Bill noted after their first date: ‘ I hit the jackpot’.
    She fought a courageous fight against mental disease with lots of loving care from Bill, who was one of my roommates at Yale. We had a great friendship over 50 years and I always. Enjoyed her sharp wit and stimulating conversations. Her poetry was wonderful and thought provoking. Blessings to Bill, Greg and Lara.

  34. Ginny Mooney Withrow says:

    What a remarkable woman. I wish I had enjoyed the privilege of knowing her. We’re blessed to know her lovely daughter, Lara, and precious grandchildren here in Charlotte. Sending a prayer for God’s peace and comfort to all Pat’s loved ones.

  35. Beth kendall says:

    Pat was such precious soul. I met her when she was visiting with Lara and even though she had limitation with conversation, her soul was filled with the spirit from God. She received communion and we prayed together. I enjoyed seeing Pat and meeting her husband William at Harrison. What a special bond they must have shared.
    Pat will be missed but her poetry will live forever.

  36. Pi'ilani says:

    Aloha Bill & ‘ohana (family),
    Although I didn’t meet Pat personally, Bill spoke of her often, and I felt like I knew her. God took her from him in the flesh, but, blessed the entire family with an angel in heaven.
    No matter how old we get, no matter how we know where she went; it’s never easy loosing a loved one. May you all find peace and comfort knowing she is home with our heavenly Father.
    God bless you all,
    Your sister in Christ.

  37. Susan James Davidson says:

    Dear Bill and family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you transition into this time of loss and remembering dear, sweet Pat! She was always so poised,beautiful on the inside and outside, gracious and the epitome of a southern lady. Her talent and wisdom will be remembered by many. I remember Daddy saying she was the first, special little grandchild on the James side. He loved her so!
    Please know you will be in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. Love and sympathy, Susan James Davidson

  38. Elizabeth Tucker says:

    Love and prayers for my sweet cousins family. A beautiful soul taken too soon.

  39. Poets are a family, and my poetry sister Patricia Adams Furlong is now my angel sister. Love doesn’t die.

  40. Richard York says:

    Bill – Our heart felt condolences to you, Lara, Kellsie, Nicholas & Greg. Pat was a kind, warm and gentle lady. May Christ’s own words comfort all of you at the time. Matt 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. For Pat: Matt 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. May God bless all of you! Richard & Esther.

  41. Dana Gurley says:

    Pat was a wonderful and sweet woman. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 2016 where we became very good friends. She was a very intelligent lady and one who loved poetry. We would sit many days and read poems she requested. My condolences for the families lost.

  42. Ashley Berner says:

    Dearest Furlong Family,

    I have known you since my earliest childhood. My father’s stories about the friendship he had with Bill we’re a fixture of the growing-up years! And of course, I remember Pat’s visiting us as early as the late 1960’s., when Dad was stationed at Fort McClellan. She visited Miss Ruby’s preschool with me and tried in the famous birthday hat!

    I join your family in rejoicing with the abundance she brought to her life. Pat served as a ray of honest light in the midst of the world’s difficulties. She didn’t shy away but instead turned her God-given gifts to bless others.

    I know your family will miss her terribly. Death is indeed the last enemy, as Paul wrote- and we mourn with you in this time, knowing that death does not have the final word. Thanks be to God.

    Ashley (Eckbert) Berner

  43. Mandy Haas says:

    I met Mrs. Furlong several times while visiting with Lara, Kellsie, and Nicholas. Pat was such a sweet lady and she made you feel special in her presence. She loved her grandchildren dearly and they adored her. Thank you for the beautifully written obituary and know that Pat will be dearly missed.

  44. Laura Korkowski says:

    What a tremendous loss to the Furlong family as well as the teaching community. It was a pleasure to get to teach Pat’s grandchildren and get to be a part of this wonderful family for a year. Wishing you all the best and I know she is smiling down on you all.

  45. Brandee Culp says:

    Meeting the two of you in Hilton Head a few years ago was an amazing, and unforgettable time. The love you both shared is definitely one of a kind! I am blessed to have met you both, and I am terribly sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. She will be missed greatly!

  46. Robin Latham says:

    I had the distinct pleasure of accompanying Ms Pat many places in the community. I was fortunate enough to have been her caregiver. Ms Pat had such a compassionate and sweet spirit about her. That priceless smile wooed people everywhere we went. She was a true educator. On one occasion; she attracted 2 little boys in Panera Bread. We became acquainted with the 2 and their Mom. The Mother was so appreciative for the undivided attention Ms Pat gave her sons. A few weeks later we made a date with the 3. Ms Pat presented the young lads with a copy of the book (The Giving Tree) She passionately read the book to them. They loved it. They thanked and hugged her. Their Mother expressed tears of joy! She then shared the fact one of them was intellectually challenged. She was amazed with the attentiveness and compassion he showed Ms Pat.
    I found Ms Pat to truly be that Giving Tree!
    I must say. I watched her give her all!!
    I’m so thankful to have had her as a pat of my life. My life is certainly richer from her having been a part of it. I will forever love this Sweetheart of a lady!!
    Robin Latham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *