A hundred years ago in 1912, two brothers, William and Charles Furey, graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, respectively married and migrated to Cape May County, where they would begin their individual medicine practices.
Following in their footsteps is a lineage of Furey family doctors, including William's two sons, Dr. Robert Furey and Dr. William Furey Jr.; Charles' two sons, Dr. Joseph Furey and Dr. Charles Furey Jr. and three of Dr. Robert Furey's children, Dr. Karen Furey, Dr. Robert Furey Jr. and Dr. William Furey III. Today, Cape May native Dr. Charles Furey Jr. is 97 years old and is in ill health, living in Lantana, Fla. He is the last surviving second-generation medical professional in the Furey family. His first cousin, Dr. Robert Furey, also of the second generation, passed away in 2005.
Robert was a family physician with a 39-year private practice in Wildwood Crest. His widow, Veronica, a resident of Wildwood Crest, said her husband and his cousin, "Charlie" as she affectionately refers to him, had great admiration for their profession, particularly the opportunity it allowed them to serve and heal others.
"I really believe what you do in this world comes back," said Veronica Furey. "They were proud to be doing what they did, and they were proud to pass it on through the Furey family lines. It takes a special kind of person to become a doctor."
Veronica said whenever Charles visited Cape May County, particularly Cape May where he was born and where his father, Dr. Charles Furey, had a private practice on Gurney Street, he would refer to it as "home."
Dr. Charles Furey Jr. was born in Cape May, studied medicine at Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and had a private practice in South Philadelphia through to the 1970s, prior to relocating to Florida. "Cape May was always his hometown," she said. "He would tell me all these stories about the people who lived here and how much he loved this place. He is a fount of lore for local history.
The love of medicine has been passed down through the family and has affected many patients in several states, "and the seed is still growing," Veronica said. "Our legacies do go on."
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