Dr. Frank E. Funk - February 21, 1923 to August 21, 2015
Frank Funk died early Friday morning, August 21, 2015, of heart complications.
He was 92 years old. A World War II veteran, educator, administrator,
volunteer and hobbyist, he had a long and interesting life.
As a navigator with the 772nd Squadron, 463rd Bomb Group, 15th Air
Corps, he flew seven bombing missions out of Foggia, Italy in 1944. On
December 20, 1944, Frank bailed out of a sabotaged plane over
Czechoslovakia after all four engines failed. He spent the rest of the
war in Stalag Luft One.
After the war he attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill, earning
his B.S. and M.S. in Speech Communication. He married Ruth Anne Johnson
in 1949. They had their first child, Steven Eric Funk, in 1950, while
Frank was teaching at Lehigh University. Frank and Ruth Anne taught as
graduate students at Purdue University, where they each earned their
They then moved to Syracuse, NY, where Frank became an Assistant (later
Associate) Professor of Speech at Syracuse University. Their daughter,
Karen Christine Funk, was born in 1957. In 1965, Frank became Assistant
Dean at S.U.'s University College. He finished his 32-year career at
Syracuse as Dean of University College and Director of Continuing
Education. In 1976, Frank and Ruth Anne were divorced. In 1977, Frank
married Dr. Ruth Christy.
Frank at a Syracuse University Commencement
Upon retirement, Frank and Ruth relocated to Wilmington. A model
railroad hobbyist, he was a long-time volunteer and board member with
the Wilmington Railroad Museum. As President of its foundation, he
oversaw the museum's relocation and expansion. He also served as an
elder at First Presbyterian Church, as President of the board of WHQR,
and as a board member for the Alliance for a Regional Concert Hall
(ARCH), of which Ruth was co-founder and President.
Strokes and the 2012 death of his beloved wife Ruth took their toll, and
in February, 2013 Frank moved to a memory care facility in Tucson, AZ, a
few miles from the home of his daughter, Karen. After a year of "lunch
and adventures" on weekends with Karen, Frank settled in as a beloved
resident at Cascades of Tucson, with a smile for everyone.
Frank was preceded in death by his sisters Hazel, Doris and Grace, wife
Dr. Ruth Christy Funk (1934-2012), son Steven Funk (1950-2014), and
ex-wife Dr. Ruth Anne Johnson (1927-2002), He is survived by his
daughter, Karen Funk Blocher (husband John Blocher), his stepdaughters
Janet Johnson (husband James Tremblay) and Dr. Amy Sisley, his sister
Marie, nieces and nephews.
There will be two memorial services. The first will be at St Michael
& All Angels Episcopal Church in Tucson, AZ on Thursday, August 27th
at 12:30 PM. The funeral and interment will be at First Presbyterian in
Wilmington, NC, Tuesday, September 1st at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Wilmington
Symphony, Syracuse University, or the Wilmington Railroad Museum.
Tucson obituary online
Wilmington obituary online