The late Father Fred Furey was a much beloved priest at St. Mary Catholic Church in Marion for 30+ years — from the mid-1960s until 1996. In addition to duties at the parish, he served as a prison chaplain at Marion Correctional Institution, for which he is fondly remembered. Upon his retirement, Father Furey returned to his religious order, the Sacred Hearts, in Massachusetts, until his passing on October 14, 1999, at the age of 90.
During his lifetime, he helped to found a nonprofit organization to provide a source of emergency funds to assist students wishing to attend the local Catholic schools, regardless of religious affiliation. In 2008, the proceeds of his scholarship organization were migrated to Marion Community Foundation to create the Father Fred Furey Fund for Marion’s Catholic Schools, an organizational endowment fund which will support the school in perpetuity. In 2023, the fund was reorganized as a designated fund and continues to benefit Marion’s Catholic elementary school.