James Furbee

Obituary of James Watson Furbee

James Watson Furbee, aka Rhys Watson, 92, passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2024. He was born January 21, 1932 in Clarksburg, WV a son of the late Carl Edwin Furbee Sr. & Ruth Madolin Watson Furbee. He was raised in Bridgeport, WV. After graduating from Bridgeport High School, where he was Class President, member of the Thespian Group, and Co-Captain of the Football Team, he attended West Virginia University, then enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean War. Following his discharge he returned home to Bridgeport, WV. He married Nellie Bly Toothman Furbee in 1952 and fathered two children, James Edwin “Ed” Furbee and Kathleen Elizabeth Furbee. Jim began his pharmacy career in Bridgeport at the family drugstore, Furbee’s Pharmacy, and was active in the community. He was a Charter Member of the Bridgeport United Methodist Church, served on the board, taught Sunday school, and sang in the choir. He was a member of the P.T.A. and founded the Stagecrafters, a community theater group where he acted and directed plays. He also gave poetry recitations to groups in the area. Several years after his wife’s death in 1967 Jim left Bridgeport in order to pursue his interest in professional acting. He joined Actor’s Equity, adopted the stage name Rhys Watson, and performed a variety of roles over the years in both professional and community theater. He also continued working as a pharmacist in drug stores and hospitals throughout West Virgina and Texas. He eventually settled in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, where he was a frequent performer at the Old Opera House and other theatrical venues. Jim is survived by his son and daughter in law Ed & Lettie Furbee of Charleston, SC, his daughter and son in law Kathleen Furbee & Martin Christ of Independence, WV, his granddaughters Hanna Wheeler of Peacham, VT, Elisabeth Marshall and her husband Joe Marshall of Pittsburgh, PA, Jordan Vroblesky and her husband Nick Vroblesky of Charleston, SC and Logan Furbee of Charleston, SC, Six great grandchildren, and several nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by wife Nellie Bly Toothman Furbee, and his siblings Carl Furbee Jr., John Furbee, Jerry Furbee and Enid Crawford. The family will receive friends at the Ford Funeral Home, Allen Chapel, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV 26330 on Sunday, March 10, 2024 from 3-5 p.m. The visitation will continue on Monday, March 11, 2024 from 10-11 a.m. in the Bridgeport United Methodist Church, 251 Worthington Drive, Bridgeport, WV 26330. The funeral service will be held in the church on Monday at 11 a.m. with Reverend Dr. Matthew Paugh officiating. The Service of Committal will follow in the Bridgeport Cemetery, Bridgeport, WV. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com.