University Retiree Furgiuele Passes Away

Posted on 11/3/2017 4:02:26 PM

Sam Furgiuele, a longtime and long-retired IUP faculty member and administrator, died November 1, 2017. He was to celebrate his 100th birthday on November 18.

A former coal miner and a World War II veteran, Furgiuele enrolled at Indiana State Teachers College in 1947, at age 29, and graduated two years later with a teaching degree in English. After teaching at Indiana Area Junior High School for seven years, he joined the English faculty at ISTC in 1957. Six years later, at the urging of President Willis Pratt, Furgiuele took the job of director of public relations. In this position, he was instrumental in garnering support and publicity for the school’s attainment of university status in 1965. As longtime chair of the commencement committee, he was also responsible for bringing a number of celebrated personalities to campus as speakers.

Furgiuele returned to the English Department as a professor in 1973 and retired from the university in 1978. He had retired, as a major, from the Army Reserves the previous year.

In his retirement of nearly 40 years, Furgiuele remained active. He wrote a 325-page autobiography, served twice as Lions Club president, and spent time with his family and his many friends.

He is survived by his wife of 73 years, the former Sarah Stewart, whom he met while stationed in Georgia in 1943. They have two children, Diana and Samuel, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Furgiuele was the subject of a story, “The Man for the Job,” in the Spring 2017 edition of IUP Magazine. The story was written by longtime journalism faculty member Randy Jesick, whom Furgiuele hired in IUP’s Office of Public Relations in 1969.