Generous community supporter passes away

Madeline Furrer and the word “generous” went hand in hand.

“Madeline was the most gracious, caring, generous woman I have ever met. I can’t think of one thing that she didn’t support. She was so generous with everybody. Never, ever did I know her to say no to anyone for anything,” said longtime friend Terry Carnicella, a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Furrer, 86, formerly of Altoona, died Tuesday at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg.

Furrer was known in the business community for her role in her family’s business, Furrer Beverage, where she retired as vice president after more than 50 years.

Furrer enjoyed and supported the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and Altoona Community Theatre.

“She supported the symphony financially, and she attended all of the concerts and truly enjoyed them until her health didn’t permit her to attend. She always attended the symphony with her sister, Clara Bennetti,” said Rita Sangiorgi, vice president of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra board of directors. “She was a very kind and very generous person.”

“She was a subscriber for many years and enjoyed coming to the shows. She was very supportive of ACT with sponsorships,” said Steve Helsel, operations manager at Altoona Community Theatre. “I just knew her as a friendly, gracious and generous person.”

Furrer was a loyal, generous parishioner, said St. Mary’s pastor Monsignor Timothy Stein.

“She was very devoted to the parish and was faithful as long as her health permitted her to attend. She was extremely generous to the parish in all sorts of ways. She had a great capacity for friendship. She treated her friends like family. She was an all around great lady,” Stein said.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. today at St. Mary’s Catholic Church officiated by Stein. Committal will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.