Alfred Furrer, Last Member of a WWI Last Man Club, Dies at 97
SAN PABLO, Calif. (AP) _ Alfred Furrer, who on Veterans Day toasted his late friends as the last survivor of a World War I Last Man’s Club, has died at 97.
Furrer, of Richmond, died Sunday in Brookside Hospital in San Pablo of congestive heart failure. His death came one year after the second-to-last club member, Victor Parachini, died at the age of 89.
As the Last Man, Furrer inherited a bottle of champagne that had a lable signed by the original members of the club that was formed in 1932 by 32 veterans from the San Francisco Bay area. Like similar clubs formed elsewhere, Furrer’s Last Man’s Club held annual parties.
The club’s original champagne had gone bad after all those years, so Furrer toasted the other club members last Nov. 11 from a new bottle.
″It’s a privilege to be honord by people just for sticking around all this time, but, you know, I had to bury a lot of people along the way,″ he said at the time.
″I came through floods, fires, wars, and, my God ... you come through it all, and I don’t know if it’s an honor or a sort of curse.″
A native of San Francisco, Furrer was 25 when he was drafted and sent to France where he served with an ammunition unit.
He ran a stationery store in Richmond, was a former president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and was named Richmond’s Man of the Year in 1959.