Local artist and philanthropist Linda Quinn Furman passed away at her home on Dec. 27 after a brief battle with COVID-19. She was 72.
A lifelong resident of Greenville, Furman attended Christ Church Episcopal School and Greenville High School before graduating from Furman University.
She is survived by her husband, real estate developer Earle Furman, four children, nine grandchildren and one step-grandson, according to her obituary.
“In every encounter, Linda made each child and each grandchild feel as if they were the center of her universe, convincing them that they mattered above all others in that moment,” her obituary said.
Furman was also actively involved in the arts community, serving on the South Carolina Children’s Theatre board, the Emrys Foundation and most recently as a founding member of the Greenville Center for Creative Arts. The facility at 101 Abney St. in the Village of West Greenville was renamed the Linda Quinn Furman Building in her honor on Aug. 26, 2020.
The unveiling came after a $1 million fundraising campaign completed by the arts center to sustain operations and expand its impact.
“Our dear friend Linda was a lover of life who approached everything with enthusiasm, curiosity and humor. She was a talented artist who also supported and encouraged others to engage with the arts,” said Kim Fabian, executive director of the Greenville Center for Creative Arts.
“As one of the founders of the Greenville Center for Creative Arts, she had the passion and foresight to make visual arts education and appreciation accessible to thousands of people in our community — and beyond — each year. We are so fortunate to have her name on our building as a constant reminder of her spirit and legacy that will continue to inspire others for years to come.”
As an artist, Furman was known for her drawings, acrylic paintings and mixed-media pieces. She had several studios, both inside and out of the home, and most recently held a show at the GCCA Community Gallery in November.
“Nature provides me with a constant source of inspiration as does traveling, especially to places that are off the beaten track. However, traveling within my own mind is always the most rewarding adventure, and translating that experience using paints, pen, pencil, colored papers and inks is the most satisfying of all,” Furman said on her website.
Furman was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in January 2020, months before her COVID-19 diagnosis.
“She fought a brave and feisty fight with so much grace it was hard for others to know the extent of her illness. A few weeks before her death she was riding a horse and zipping around on a four-wheeler, exhilarated by the rides,” her obituary said.
A virtual memorial service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 31. The service will be streamed at https://vimeo.com/495515821 at 2 p.m.