Milton John “Milt” Furness , Jr. was born February 1, 1933 in Everett, Washington. Raised in Juneau, Alaska, he died April 27, 2017 in Seattle, surrounded by family.
Milt began his broadcasting career when he was just 13, at KJNO-AM in Juneau. This was the beginning of his life-long love of radio and communication. After graduating from Juneau High School, Milt enlisted in the Army during the Korean War and served in the Army Signal Corps in Ketchikan and Juneau. He served for six years, and then enrolled at Seattle University, where he served as editor of The Spectator, and was named Journalist of the Year. While a student, Milt also worked at KIRO Radio as a DJ, and KING Radio as a news reporter. He worked for United Press International (UPI) in Olympia following his graduation, then joined KIRO TV as a news reporter. His first television work was leading up to and during the Seattle World’s Fair.
Milt moved to KOMO-TV in 1967, where, over the next 15 years, he rose to popularity as one of Seattle’s most trusted and reliable news reporters and anchors. Milt initially served as news desk manager and field reporter, became the morning news anchor in the early 1970s, then moved to the evening news anchor chair in the late 1970s, continuing through the early 1980s. He also hosted the innovative television program, The Baxters. When Fisher Communications launched its own cable news network, Satellite News Channel (SNC), Milt was named News Director and served as the network’s primary anchor. After SNC was sold to CNN, Milt worked briefly for CNN. He then joined Boeing Aerospace as Public Relations Director for the Air and Space Division, where he worked until his retirement. Milt won multiple awards and accolades during his career, both in journalism and public relations, and is remembered as being a kind and thoughtful reporter.
Milt was rightfully proud of his more than 25 years of combined military service, first in the Army, then the Naval Reserves, from which he retired as a Commander. Milt was a charter member of the Seattle Fire Buff Society, proudly served as president of the local chapter of AFTRA, was on the board of the SIDS Foundation, and was a licensed amateur radio (HAM) operator (K7JKH). After his retirement from Boeing, he volunteered with the Talking Book and Braille Library, and sang with both the Magnolia Chorale (as a founding member) and the choir of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension.
Milt is survived by his devoted wife of 54 years, Carole (Buckley); children Ian (Tammy), Megan Berger (Rick), Alexandra Furness, Stacey Furness, and Paige MacMillan (Buck), along with his grandchildren, Briony and Kiefer Furness; Gabriel, Francis, and Lillian Berger; Isaac and Asher MacMillan; sister-in -law Naomi Schmaltz and brother-in -law Terry Schmaltz; niece Dr. Heidi Schmaltz (Rock Gonsalves); and nephew TJ Schmaltz (Sanam Bakhtiar). He is predeceased by his parents, Milton J. Furness Sr. and Ann (Nancy) Gulley Furness, and his sister, Ann Furness.
Celebration of Life service will be held May 20, 2017, at 1:00 p.m., The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 2330 Viewmont Way West, Seattle, WA 98199. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Church of the Ascension, Seattle University, or your favorite charity.