‘Ned’ Furst, former CEO of Furst-McNess, dies at age 82

Served as company’s president and CEO from 1970 to 2000

Former CEO of the Furst-McNess Co., Frank “Ned” Everett Furst, 82, died on Sunday, October 24, 2021.

Furst was born on May 1, 1939. He graduated in 1956 from Freeport High School in Freeport, Illinois, where he was a member of the golf team and active in theater. He attended Yale University and received a B.A in 1960 in American studies. He continued his education at the University of Michigan and received his MBA in 1963.

While attending summer school at the University of Wisconsin, Furst began dating Harriet “Hapsie” Eaton. They married in Freeport on September 24, 1960.

Furst later earned his CPA and worked for Arthur Andersen in Detroit.

In 1966, Furst and his family returned to Freeport where he followed his father’s lead and began his career with Furst-McNess Co., which was co-founded by his grandfather. He became president and CEO in 1970, and eventually chairman of the board of directors, at McNess, and he concluded his tenure as chairman emeritus. Furst also served on the Illinois Manufacturers Board, the American Feed Industry Association Board, and the Chicago Chapter of YPO (Young Presidents Organization).

Furst was active in many local organizations and served on the Stephenson County Board, the Freeport School District #145 Board (as the third generation Furst to do so), the (old) State Bank Board, the Freeport Hospital Board, and the Lincoln-Douglas Society Board, among others.

Furst’s true joy in life was family: Hapsie; his three daughters, Martha, Susan and Betsy; his son-in-law, Francis; his parents, Jeanne and Charlie; his sisters, Janet (John) and Allison; and his dog, Dewi. After Hapsie’s death in 2012, he found romance again with JoAnn Savoy of Madison, Wisconsin.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 28 at Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home in Freeport, Illinois. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 29 at Grace Episcopal Church in Freeport, Illinois. Face masks are required for the visitation and funeral.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested consideration of memorial contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Freeport & Stephenson County, the Freeport Art Museum, and the Family YMCA of Northwest Illinois in Furst’s name.