, 63, remembered as water expert, benevolent boss
FRIENDS AND coworkers of Darby Fuerst, who died Monday morning of cancer, remembered the longtime water district general manager as a kindhearted leader and one of the foremost authorities on the Monterey Peninsula's water supply issues.
Fuerst worked at the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District for nearly 25 years before retiring in 2011.
He died at his home Monday morning surrounded by his family, just three days before his 64th birthday.
Arlene Tavani, Fuerst's
executive assistant at the water district, said he
was a tireless worker who took little time off.
called him intelligent and a "man of integrity."
Fuerst, who lived in Pacific Grove, is survived by his wife, Andrea, and their four adult children.
Water district water resources manager Joe Oliver called Fuerst a "fierce proponent of accuracy" and a "resident scientific mentor" to many employees of the water district.
Fuerst worked as a hydrologist with the water district from 1985 to 1988 before leaving for another job.
He returned to the district in 1989 and was named general manager in 1995, a position he held until 2000.
He served again as general manager from 2008 through 2011, the year he retired.
led multiple high adventure treks to the Sierra and in New Mexico, and led these youth on bicycle trips and camps," Laredo told The Pine Cone.
had a creative side, too.
Water district project manager Henrietta Stern said Fuerst was a "master storyteller," who often told of his time in Ethiopia in the Peace Corps and his exploits with his twin brother, Rory.
Sand City Mayor and water district director Dave Pendergrass, who first met Fuerst in 1986, said Fuerst "was a very gentle person" who had a mild managerial style.
The two men shared the same Dec. 12 birthday, and Fuerst
would call him every year to wish him a happy birthday, Pendergrass said.
Fuerst had a degree in English, and several people told The Pine Cone that he had a keen attention to punctuation and grammar.
"Darby inspired me to excel at written communication," water demand manager Stephanie Locke-Pintar told The Pine Cone.