TUCSON, AZ —
Dwight Douglas Furnas, age 52, passed away very peacefully in his sleep due to heart failure Friday, March 2, 2012, at his home in Tucson, Ariz.
Doug was born Dec. 11. 1959, in Miami, Okla., to Wayne and Mary Furnas. He had the strong support of his parents all his life. Anyone that met Doug knew they were in the presence of a champion with character, compassion, intensity and love. He was passionately committed to his family, teammates and friends.
Doug began playing football in the third grade at Commerce. He attended college and played football at NEO A&M before transferring to the University of Tennessee as a running back. His brother, Mike, was an offensive guard there as well. Doug signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos in 1983. Before beginning his professional wrestling career, he set two world records in powerlifting in 1987, and he still holds the men’s collegiate national records in the squat (881.75 lbs.) and deadlift (766 lbs.) in the 242 lbs. weight class, which he set in 1983, while attending the University of Tennessee. Doug holds the Tennessee state record for the squat (985 lbs.) and deadlift (821 lbs.). He is also one of the few men to achieve a total of 2403 lbs. Doug ended his powerlifting career with a total of 29 world records. His professional wrestling career highlights include five time All Japan All Asia Tag Team Champion, two time UWA Tag Team Champion and ECW World Tag Team Champion. He wrestled as a part of the tag team, Can Am Express, with his partner, Phil Lafon, in the WWF from 1996 to 1998. Doug began riding bulls at youth rodeos and into high school. After retiring from wrestling he began raising bucking stock bulls on his home farm in Miami, Okla. He is co-owner of bulls currently bucking in the PBR. Doug also started a group home called Varsity Team Inc. for teenage boys with Lance Hickman in San Diego, Calif. While making Tucson his home over the last seven years he became a devoted cyclist. Cycling provided not only another athletic challenge but also allowed him to sustain a better quality of life through his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Doug married Jody Thompson, they later divorced. He married Martha D’Acri Furnas on May 12, 1995, in San Diego, where they resided until 2003, then relocated to Tucson, with Martha’s employer, GEICO.
Other survivors include his parents; one brother, Mike, of Miami; three sisters, LaWayne Clapp and husband, Jim, of Miami, Pam Gray and husband, Doug, of Miami, and Terri VanWey and husband, Steve, of Carthage, Mo.; nieces, nephews and many good friends.
Visitation will be on Friday, March 9, at 6 p.m. at the Commerce High School Gymnasium. Services will be held on Saturday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at the Commerce High School Gymnasium with Audie Tash, Jerry Von Moss and Howie Moss officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to The Sports Legacy Institute, center for study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In addition, a scholarship fund will be established in Doug’s name to allow a Commerce High School graduate to attend NEO A&M College.