TOWN OF PORT MCNEILL PHOTO Former longtime Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney.

Former longtime Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney dead at 85

Furney served the Town of Port McNeill for 39 years, among the longest mayoral services in Canada

A Vancouver Island political icon has died.

The Town of Port McNeill released a statement today, that former mayor Gerry Furney has passed away.

RELATED: Furney decides 46 years is enough

“It is with heavy hearts today we are informing you of the passing of former Mayor Gerry Furney,” stated Mayor Gaby Wickstrom on the town’s Facebook page. “In the early hours of Feb 4th, Gerry left his earthly home of Port McNeill surrounded by his family. He was a man larger than life, approachable and kind; a community leader. He was such an integral part of Port McNeill’s history, it’s hard to imagine him not seated at the coffee shop window, chatting and smiling at passers by. Our hearts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Furney, who was 85 years old, served as mayor for the Town of Port McNeill for 39 years, and was an elected official in Port McNeill for 46 years. He was one of the longest-serving mayors in the country until he decided to retire in 2014.

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