Gift & Estate Planning
Leonard Furlow '48: Still Fleet of Foot
Dr. Leonard Furlow '48 has never been one to stand still for very long. A combination of circumstance and happenstance has led him to interesting places all over the globe.
In sixth grade at Flynn Park Elementary School in 1942, he had expected to join the Burroughs Class of '48 as a seventh-grader, but that changed when his father, a neurosurgeon, was called into service with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and the family moved to California.
After World War II ended, Leonard and his family moved back to St. Louis, and he joined JBS as a sophomore. He fondly remembers Burroughs teachers Ellsworth Obourn and Charles Sibley, who nurtured his burgeoning interest in science, and Howard Blossom, who taught shop, "a fun, valuable part of my education," Leonard says.
"I guess I was born curious, but Burroughs helped by giving me a good education."
That's why Leonard and his wife, Libby, decided to remember the school in their estate plan, becoming members of the John Burroughs Society.
"I've always felt close to Burroughs, and we feel good about giving back to the institutions that have had such a positive influence on us," Leonard says.
Dubbed "Fleetfoot" in the 1948 Burroughs yearbook for his "remarkable track abilities," Leonard also enjoyed playing football, basketball and soccer. He remembers "Gov" Haertter as a happy man who "did a great job of running the school and keeping a bunch of teenagers out of trouble." After graduating from Burroughs, Leonard attended Amherst.
"College admissions were a little simpler back then," he remembers. "Gov Haertter suggested I apply to Amherst, so I did, and that's where I went."
Leonard went on to study medicine at Washington University. After three years of general surgery residency at the University of Virginia, Leonard served with the Air Force Medical Corps for two years, stationed in Misawa, Japan.
When he returned from Japan, he spent five more years in residency, four at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to complete general surgery and plastic surgery training, plus a year of orthopedics.
He then served on the University of Florida in Gainesville faculty for six years. He spent the next 17 years in private practice in Gainesville. His primary clinical interests were in hand surgery and cleft lip and palate surgery.
After retiring, Leonard did volunteer surgical work on more than 50 reconstructive surgery tours that took him across the globe, in Honduras, Egypt, Kenya, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala, Moscow, Angola and China.
On most of the trips Libby, a retired schoolteacher, went as one of the medical personnel.
"She was great, doing whatever needed to be done," Leonard says.
Traveling across the globe allowed Leonard continue and greatly expand his experience in treating those with cleft lip and palate, and improve his operative methods. He met a number of interesting people he would otherwise never have gotten to know, which led to trips to South Korea, Australia and Turkey.
These days, the Furlows' travels revolve around visiting their four granddaughters in D.C. and Brooklyn. Leonard keeps his hand in academia by going to several plastic surgery meetings a year, attending the monthly Journal Club of the Plastic Surgery Division at the UF Medical School and giving an occasional medical talk.
He and Libby are actively involved with the Rotary Club, and she has been a docent and served on the board of the Florida Museum of Natural History since the 1970s.
"I've slowed down a bit on the traveling, but the subject of plastic surgery was too interesting to drop completely," Leonard says. "There are lots more interesting things that I couldn't get around to when I was in practice."
You can follow in Leonard and Libby's footsteps and provide educational opportunities to JBS students that help them discover their own lifelong interests and passions. Contact Ginger Imster at 314-993-4045, ext. 256 or email@example.com to talk about your giving options.
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