Daniel’s Story


A Glimpse of Daniel’s Life……

Joseph Daniel Furr was 19 when he left us the  day after Christmas in 2008.  He was about a week from beginning his sophomore year at Western Carolina University and he was finally healthy after a 2 year on-off fight with a strong strain of mononucleosis.  He was excited about his plans for the new year and was ready for the challenge.  Never in a million years would he have knowingly taken a risk that might have ended his life of so much promise….breaking the hearts of his family whom he greatly loved. Daniel’s many interests included music, fly fishing, camping, guitars, video games, movies, cooking, and most sports – especially baseball and golf.  He enjoyed a wide variety of friends but avoided people whom he regarded as pretenders. “Keep it real” he would say.

Close friends describe Daniel as an intelligent, responsible guy destined for a bright future. With his quick wit and improv style of humor Daniel loved to generate the laughter.  He was a bit shy but he spoke articulately and without fear when required to speak in public. He enjoyed a good political debate and was usually armed with the facts.  Most teachers and bosses refer to Daniel as a polite, respectful, and well spoken young man with a nice smile and good sense of humor.  Daniel had trusted Christ as his Savior ten years earlier and grew rapidly in his faith. However, more recently he began to become impatient with what he saw as much religious hypocrisy and churchy cliquishness. Daniel would not play superficial games about God just for appearance. For him it had to be from the heart..with total honesty and no phony showmanship. While trying to sort it all out, along with struggling to navigate through the other usual teen issues, it appears he may have allowed himself to become drawn to some wrong influences.

Daniel had a good track record over the years for avoiding trouble and making responsible decisions without a history of risky behavior.  He seemed to have an intuitiveness in reading people that exceeded his years.  Up until now, he had always displayed good common sense and had been quite picky about his friends and loyal to those he chose. He had no history with drugs, no wrecks, no traffic tickets, and no excessive behavior. Daniel certainly wasn’t perfect…he could be mischievous and quite the prankster but overall Daniel was careful and seemed to know the perimeters.

However, sometimes it only takes one wrong decision to end your life. In the last month of his life Daniel had begun to get invited often to the home of a newer friend he had met at work.  It was later discovered that the friend’s parents had a long history of pushing under age drinking including bourbon.  On his last night Daniel decided to make a quick visit only to deliver a gift to his friend when he was apparently invited to join a small family gathering. Later that night, after drinking with older adults, he was left alone. He was found unresponsive the next morning. His inexperience, curiosity, and trusting the wrong “friends” that night proved costly to Daniel and his loved ones…a devastating and ironic end to his pattern of living responsibly.

One wrong decision erased years of Daniel’s many right decisions…and left his loved ones with irreparable broken hearts for the years to come.  His earthly destiny was short but in his eternal destiny he is alive and will endure forever….since Daniel now lives in the presence of the King of Kings….whose love had sealed him and promised He would never let go of him for ANY reason. Those who did not know Daniel well may remember only the sad last part of his story. However, those who were fortunate enough to REALLY know him will remember his hearty laughter, his intense competitiveness, the tender and sensitive heart he tried to hide, his loyalty to friends, and the “whole heart” passion he applied to most activities…the more complete story of who he was…AND STILL IS.