Obituary of Rachel Elizabeth Furtaw
Rachel Elizabeth Furtaw, 75, of Essexville, our, loving and determined wife, mother, and grandmother was born into eternal life on the evening of Sunday, July 14, 2019 at Brian’s House, surrounded by her loving family. Rachel was born in Tattenhall, Chester County, England on December 25, 1943, the daughter of the late Harry Hopley and Elizabeth (Jackson) Brereton. She was raised on the family farm where she learned the value of hard work and resilience which she passed down to members of her family. Prior to Rachel’s birth, the Brereton family took in three girls from Liverpool during the bombings of World War II. One of the girls, Rita Smith, would become Rachel’s adopted older sister and play a role in the rest of her life. Soon after her parents’ deaths, Rachel jumped at an opportunity to emigrate to the United States as a nanny, helping to raise the children of the then-president of a prominent bank in New York City. A few years later, at the urging of her friend Rita Smith, Rachel made a trip to Bay City, Michigan. There, she was set up on a blind date with Bernard “Ben” Furtaw. They dated, fell in love, and were united in marriage six months later on June 10, 1972. Rachel continued to work as a professional nanny and provided daycare services out of her home in Essexville, impacting the lives of numerous children that have since grown and had children of their own. Rachel leaves to carry on her legacy, her husband, Bernard “Ben” and children, Paul (Kate) Furtaw, Robert (Nicole) Furtaw, and Sharon (Dan) Franch. She was the most loving and supportive grandma and nana of Cameron, Chloe, John, and Rose Furtaw, and James French. Also surviving are her sisters-in-law, Mary Jones and Brenda Jones, both of England, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Rachel was predeceased by her brothers, John and Robert Brereton, and dear friends, Rita and Gene Smith. Rachel’s family will be present to receive visitors on Sunday, July 21, 2019 from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM with a 4:00 PM Vigil for Rachel at Skorupski Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 955 N. Pine Rd., Hampton Twp. On Monday, July 22, 2019, Rachel will be taken to St. Jude Thaddeus Parish (St. John the Evangelist Church), 614 Pine St., Essexville, where visiting will continue from 10:00 AM until Rachel’s 11:00 AM Funeral Liturgy. Fr. Dale Orlik will officiate with the Rite of Committal to be held privately in St. Stanislaus Kostka Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Brian’s House, 664 W. Nebobish Road, Essexville, MI, 48732. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family online at www.skorupskis.com.