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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - February/March 2004
Furman Mac Ammons


"All hail! ye tender feelings dear!
The smile of love, the friendly tear,
The sympathetic glow!
Long since, this world's thorny ways
Had number'd out my weary days,
Had it not been for you!
Fate has still blest me with a friend,
In ev'ry care and ill;
And of a more endearing band,
A tye more tender still..."

Robert Burns, Epistle to Davie, a Brother Poet

Furman Mac Ammons was born June 19, 1928 in Red Springs, North Carolina to Mary Eula McGugan and Furman Martin Ammons. He spent his childhood and youth in and around Robeson County. In advance of an impending draft notice, Mr. Ammons joined the United States Air Force in 1950 to serve in Germany where he met his future wife, Ms. Hannelore Sperling.

Upon his honorable discharge in 1954, Mr. Ammons pursued undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures in 1957. Shortly thereafter he became engaged to and married Ms. Sperling.

Mr. Ammons' skill with the written word and aptitude for technical detail allowed him to pursue a successful career in contracts management with Rockwell International's Missile systems Division. He was apt to quote that he was fortunate to have a vocation that was both challenging and progressive, and he truly considered it a good life's work.

Mr. Ammons was keenly interested in Scottish culture and life and was deeply involved with the Burns Club of Atlanta (Board of Directors), the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (Knights Templar) with a Grand Officier (GOTJ), and the St. Andrew's Society of Atlanta (Board of Directors) with whom he worked at the annual charity the "Festival of Trees" to support Children's Health Care of Atlanta, including Scottish Rite Hospital.

He was an active member of the Clan Macneil Society and the Robert Burns World Federation, as well as a frequent supporter of the Stone Mountain Highland Games, among others. He often fulfilled the role of unofficial "advisor" to the management of the Flora McDonald Highland Games in North Carolina. He also participated in the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Atlanta and was known for his skill with the Pas de Basque.

He held a great love for literature and was well read in American history, particularly the Civil War. A great outdoors enthusiast, Mr. Ammons was an avid hunter and sportsman from early childhood. Mr. Ammons was noted as an authority on all subjects and was remarked for his ability to argue a fine point, much to the chagrin of his fellow disputants. He was an intellectual man and pursued interests in economics and politics as well.

Mr. Ammons departed this life quietly on the evening of October 29, 2003 due to complications from liver cancer.

He is survived by his wife, Hannelore Sperling Ammons; sons, Furman Martin and Steven Thomas Ammons; daughter Anita Juliane Ammons Sales; son-in-law Eric Sales, and his much beloved grandson Jarrett McGugan Sales.

Furman Mac Ammons was remarkable for the deep unswerving loyalty, generosity and devotion he held for his family and friends. His departure has left an unyielding void in our lives that must be filled by love, humor and recollections of his warmth and keen spirit.

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