Agoura Hills, CA
Stephen Paul Furnari, 65, a longtime resident of Agoura Hills passed away from malignant melanoma on November 25, 2019. Steve grew up in Farmingdale, NY and was a graduate of Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville.
He and his best friend Bill were part of the high school theater group and appeared in many productions, including “Mame” and “Kiss Me Kate.” He went on to Nassau Community College and received his BA from the University of Louisville which launched his career in the hospitality industry, the perfect fit for his larger than life personality. People gravitated toward Steve because of his natural ability to exude happiness and joy all the time, which was contagious and inspiring. Best of all, you knew you would laugh.
Steve approached life with passion and an adventurous spirit, including his decades long career with Southern Wine and Spirits as a wine specialist. This passion took him to France and Napa Valley and he was everyone’s “go to” guy for wine advice. Steve and his devoted wife, Karen, built a beautiful and fulfilling life together which included their precious Goldendoodle, Sage, who passed away two weeks prior to Steve.
He was an avid cyclist, loved cooking, good food and wine, travel, and all kinds of music, especially his vintage vinyls. Steve absolutely and unconditionally loved being with his friends and family. He had legions of friends from every walk of life, but the overwhelming love and loyalty demonstrated by his friends Bill, Eileen and Billy were some of the most cherished. Steve and his nephew, Nick, were kindred spirits with a unique and intense bond.
After a devastating Stage 4 cancer diagnosis in 1994, Steve reached out to the Cancer Support Community in Thousand Oaks. He credited them for their contribution in providing him and his wife with emotional support, education, hope and his overall survival. Steve received the Celebration of Hope Award at the Cancer Support Community’s Gala in 2017.
Our grief is so deep because of the abundant joy he so unselfishly brought to us all. There will be no greater gift to our family than Steve.
He leaves behind his wife, Karen, step-son Doug Salvaneschi and step-granddaughter, Rhiannon. He was a loyal brother to Janet Furnari Alex (Anthony), Daniel (Vickie), and Christopher (Barbara.) He was an inspirational uncle to Lindsay, Caitlin, Monica, Nicholas, Catherine, Brianna and Brendon and a loving great uncle to Emily, Abigail and Luke. He is predeceased by his loving parents Francis and Doris, and his brother, Thomas.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, December 14 at 12:00 p.m. at Saint Jude the Apostle Church, 32032 W. Lindero Canyon Rd., Westlake Village. Donations in Stephen’s name would be warmly welcomed by the Cancer Support Community of Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara (www.cancersupportvvsb.org).
To send flowers to Stephen's family, please visit our floral section.