When the Hall of Fame was chartered in 2009, Furness was a member of the original board of directors. He was involved in the crafting of the organization’s policies. Through the years that followed he made significant contributions to both the growth and success of the Hall of Fame.
Furness excelled in sports at Watertown High School, before graduating in 1952 and attending South Dakota State University. Later he earned a master’s degree from Northern State University.
He was a teacher, coach and administrator at first Clark and then Waubay from 1959 until his retirement in 2000. While at Clark he coached the Comets to Class B state basketball tournament appearances in 1961, 1964 and 1967.