Obituary of Wojtek Furmanski
Wojtek Jan Furmanski, of Syracuse, NY, left us all on the morning of January 30, 2024. Born in Krakow, Poland, Wojtek was adventurous and imaginative from an early age, with a passion for exploring, and a contagious laugh. He threw himself into anything that fascinated him. A skilled piano player, he played competitively. He also played basketball in high school through college and enjoyed kayaking, camping, and the occasional game of poker.
Wojtek had a talent for languages and in his life learned German, Russian, French, and eventually English. He lived in Krakow through his young years, seeing the completion of his PhD and post-doctoral degree in physics from Jagiellonian University [Uniwersytet Jagielloński]. There he later became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theoretical Physics. In Krakow Wojtek also met the love of his life and partner for 52 adventurous years, his wife Anna Furmanska, who he affectionately called Hanusia. The two wed on March 7, 1977.
The next chapter of Wojtek’s life took him to Geneva, Switzerland, where he was invited to be a Research Fellow at CERN, working in particle physics. There, too, he and Anna welcomed their daughters Eva and Asia. Wojtek’s work then brought the family to France and eventually to Pasadena, California, where he was a Graduate Research Fellow in the Caltech Concurrent Computation Program. It was then that he grew to love the natural beauty of California.
In 1990, Wojtek accepted the position of Research Professor of Physics and Computer Science at Syracuse University where he developed lifelong friendships with students and faculty alike. He also founded his own startup company, Translet, Inc., served as the Chief Technologist for the Northeast Parallel Architecture Center, and co-founded AdvanceWork International, a mobile & telecommunications company.
In 1995, Wojtek, Anna, and their daughters became naturalized citizens of the United States. In 1998, Wojtek and Anna bought their family home in Syracuse, where until the end Wojtek enjoyed working in the garden and seeing the seasons change.
In 2003, Wojtek embarked on a period of bicoastal living by returning to California, this time to take the position of IPT Technical Lead, Senior Systems and Software Engineer at Boeing. His passion for research helped him quickly advance through the ranks to Senior Research Fellow. He split his time for many years between Syracuse and Huntington Beach, CA, where he savored his daily walks on the beach.
Over the course of his career, Wojtek published a host of research and technical works, many of which continue to be cited. He forged important and lasting relationships with the many he worked with and mentored.
Aside from Wojtek’s work and life-long love of nature and classical music, the moments that brought him the most joy were spent with his family, especially playing with his three grandchildren and watching them grow.
Wojtek is predeceased by his parents Jan and Florentyna Furmanski and his older sister Barbara. He is survived by his wife, Anna; his daughters Eva (Paul), Asia (Miguel), and three grandchildren: Maia (Eva/Paul); and Gabriel and Leo (Asia/Miguel).
Calling Hour: 10 AM Holy Cross Church, DeWitt followed by a Mass of Christian Burial Rites at 11 AM
Inurnment: St Mary's Cemetery Mausoleum, DeWitt
Donations in Wojtek’s memory may be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
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