Photography

Francis Bernard Fuhrer, Jr.

May 21, 2022

Obituary

Francis Bernard Fuhrer, Jr.

 

On Saturday May 21, 2022, at age 96, of Fox Chapel. Born in East Brady, Pennsylvania on November 10, 1925.

 

Beloved son of the late Francis and Crescent Fuhrer, and brother to the late Richard Fuhrer, and the late Mary Lou Waltman. Beloved husband of Heidi Fuhrer.

Preceded in death by the late Mary Helen Fuhrer, with whom he raised four children. Frank was the loving father of daughter, Kathryn Ann (Kate) Fuhrer of Hampton and Grandfather to her children Chas Wagner, Casey Kehoe (Thomas), and Corey Wagner (Annie) ; son, David Fuhrer (Joni) of Fox Chapel and Grandfather to his children Jessica Burns (Mike), Molly, Emma, and David II; son Frank Fuhrer III of Fox Chapel and Grandfather to his children Frank IV, Jas, and Garrett; daughter Beth Wrigley (Mark) of Sewickley, and Grandfather to her children Sarah Uhler (Zack), Jacob (Rachel), Paige Bryan (Shaun), Christian, Hannah, Abby Rodrigues (Derek), Caroline, and Ellie. Frank is also survived by four Great-Grandchildren, Riley and Maddison Kehoe, Beatrice Wagner, and Makoa Rodrigues.

 

Frank was the valedictorian of his 1943 East Brady High School Class. Following graduation, he enrolled in Allegheny College. His college career was briefly interrupted by a two-year stint with the US Air force from 1945 through 1946. After fulfilling his military obligation, he returned to Allegheny College. He graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville in 1948, where he was awarded 11 letters — the most in school history — including two for winning the Meadville Amateur when the school didn’t have a golf team. The football field at Allegheny is named in his honor.  In 1951, he received his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was also valedictorian.

 

Frank had a competitive drive and an entrepreneurial spirit, which helped guide the rest of his life. With great foresight and vision He began building an impressive business portfolio starting in the mid 60s with the Credit Life Insurance Agency.  He went on to own businesses of all types including a car dealership, a chemical company, and an international hair care company just to name a few. The family’s core business at this time is Frank B Fuhrer Wholesale Co., which serves as the Anheuser-Busch and Coors Brewing Company Master Distributorship, along with 75 other suppliers. 

Frank had several Hall of Fame inductions including the Allegheny College Sports Hall of Fame (1980), Pennsylvania Western Chapter Sports Hall of Fame (1982), Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame (2003), and Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Hall of Fame (2014).

Sports were a lifelong love for Frank. He made many trips to Notre Dame to root for his beloved Fighting Irish.  In the 1970s he was the owner of the Pittsburgh Triangles Professional Tennis Team and the Pittsburgh Spirit Professional Indoor Soccer Team.  Golf, however, was Frank’s true passion.  He sponsored and founded the Family House Invitational, a golf tournament that was considered the best two-day charity event in the country. The tournament received national acclaim and raised funds for the Family House, the East End housing facilities for families of cancer and transplant patients.

Frank also started his own event, the 72-hole Frank B. Fuhrer Invitational. Players and participants are primarily Tri-state PGA club professionals, national mini-tour players, and the best local amateurs from Western PA.

Frank was a fine golfer in his own right. He was a long-time member of the Pittsburgh Field Club and Oakmont Country Club of Pittsburgh, Pa; the Loxahatchee Country Club of Jupiter, Fl, and was a founding member of the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fl.

He was extremely generous to everyone he met, and was willing to help anyone in need. He was very passionate about supporting local charities. Some of his favorites were: University of Notre Dame, Duquesne University, Allegheny College, Carlow University, University of Pittsburgh and Katz Business School, Central Catholic High School, Little Sisters of the Poor, Shady Side Hospital, Family House, First Tee of Pittsburgh, Western PA Golf Association, and Tri-State Professional Golfers Association.

The most important things in Frank’s life were his Faith, family, and business. When his health allowed, he attended church daily. He inspired everyone in his presence to be their very best. He embraced failure as a new opportunity to learn. One of his favorite quotes was, “Don’t tell me. Show me, and then we’ll both know.”     

He was stern in his convictions, but gentle of heart. Frank was notorious for his perfectly timed and flawlessly delivered jokes, whether to help close a crucial business deal or rally the various teams he led - players, employees or family members.

He was a no-nonsense man, determined, and extremely driven. Frank relished competition, from regularly playing in Oakmont’s SWAT golf game to being awarded distribution contracts with the largest breweries in the world. Frank was a true visionary in business and had a keen business sense for spotting a trend before anyone else.  Frank often did not care about the details, but he did expect those who worked for him to “just get it done”.

If Frank was not in his office or at Oakmont, you could find him in his favorite recliner in the den with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in his lap. A self-proclaimed “old-schooler,” he loved his Western movies, face-to-face communication, and long Sunday night phone calls with friends and family. Not one for new gadgets, he never did own a cell phone or personal computer.

His unwavering commitment to the business and his employees continued until his final days when Frank was still commuting to his South Side office in a suit and tie. Even though his golf days ended only three years ago, his competitive spirit was still alive and well in the Gin room at Oakmont Country Club.

Ultimately, our lasting memories are his compassion, his unbridled enthusiasm for a full life, the twinkle in his eye when sharing a laugh, and that gentle squeeze of his hand to reassure you that you were loved.

Friends will be received at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC., 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street (freyvogelfuneralhome.com) on Tuesday, May 31 from 2-7pm. Funeral Wednesday June 1 Mass of Christian Burial, St Paul Cathedral at 10am. The Fuhrer Family kindly recommend that all visitors wear a mask. Entombment will be private. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to Family House 5001 Baum Blvd. Suite 545, Pittsburgh PA 15213, and Little Sisters of the Poor 1028 Benton Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212.

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Tuesday
May 31, 2022

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
John A Freyvogel Sons, Inc (Centre Avenue, Devonshire Street)

Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday
June 1, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Paul Cathedral
108 N. Dithridge Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Donations

Family House 5001 Baum Blvd. Suite 545, Pittsburgh PA 15213,
5001 Baum Blvd Suite 545, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Little Sisters of the Poor
1028 Benton Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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