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Educator and author Dr. Jack W. Furbee to introduce new book at Olivet

Posted: Oct 16, 2012

Former education professor and area resident Dr. Jack W. Furbee will introduce his new book, “Growing Up Appalachian in the Van Camp Community of Wetzel County, West Virginia: A Series of Stories, Sketches and Photographs,” during a reception at Olivet. This “meet and greet” event will be hosted by Benner Library and Resource Center on Friday, November 2, 2012, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Fishbowl. Dr. Furbee will speak at 3 p.m.

A native of Appalachia and proud of his rich mountain heritage, Dr. Furbee enjoys writing about the Van Camp, W.Va. community where he grew up on a farm. His thorough research of the area’s history plus the recounting of his own experiences on a farm combine to bring this area to life — even for nonresidents. The book’s treasured historical and family photos depict the realities of the 1930s through 1950s.

With candor and detailed description, he recounts many of his personal activities, including countless hours at the old swimming hole, delivering notes to his aunt and uncle who lived in town, helping his father build a new barn, and greeting the mailman who drove a Model T car.

Describing Van Camp and Wetzel County, Dr. Furbee says: “Typical of Appalachia, the hills of Van Camp were high and steep; the valleys were peaceful and inviting. After the dew of the night had fallen, sweet scents from the freshly cut grass were carried on gentle breezes through my bedroom making me fully aware of haying time. ”

“We are delighted to welcome Jack and Donna Furbee back to Olivet’s campus for Homecoming 2012,” said Jasmine Cieszynski, librarian at Benner. “His author talk, images from the book, and the opportunity for casual conversation about authorship, Appalachia and Olivet in the 1970s and 1980s will be a joy to experience.”

During his career, Dr. Furbee was active in the fields of education and counseling. He has served as a classroom teacher, principal and school counselor in West Virginia, Florida and Ohio. His degrees are from Liberty State College and West Virginia University.

He and his wife, Donna Jean (Huffman), were married in 1960 and currently reside in Hillsboro, Ohio. They are the parents of four children: Jacqueline, Jennifer, Amy and Andrew.

Dr. Furbee will have books available for sale at the reception. For more information about this event, contact Jasmine Cieszynski at or 815-928-5449.

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