|Birth: ||Jan. 23, 1886|
Contra Costa County
|Death: ||Jun. 17, 1964|
Helen Lillian Muir was born on Jan. 23, 1886. She was the second of two children born to John Muir and Louisiana "Louie" Strentzel. Helen grew up under the watchful eye of a loving mother and father. Though she was a sickly child, her journal entries recount many happy memories growing up in the Muir home.
Helen along with her father shared a love for trains. In 1897 John Muir sold a right of way on his property to the Santa Fe Railroad for a nominal fee of $10.00. A viaduct was erected through the vineyards and trains passed several times a day. The sale of the right of way offered the Muir family free fare on the train and quicker transportation. It also provided endless hours of amusement for Helen. Helen's fervid interest in trains led her to order various publications about locomotives, which she believed "would teach me a great many things about an engine that I have long wanted to know." She placed her orders under the name "H.L. Muir" rather than using her full first name, for fear the publisher wouldn't send the "precious books" to a girl.
In early January Helen was sent "18 lovely locomotive pictures with which to decorate my room." She hung the 17 prints on the wall and claimed: "my room is a dream, over twenty locomotive pictures adorn the walls, nearly 30 posters and railroad maps beside." Helen loved her room and summed up "I guess there never was a girl who owned such a room as mine, I am perfectly satisfied with it, and think it is the loveliest girls room I ever saw any where."
In another journal entry of Jan. 11, 1902 she says: Another foggy morning, so foggy I fear I won't be able to catch more than a glimpse of No.4 "alas and alack" etc. About fifteen minutes ago a special went through here with the 35 on it, I think it was a soldier train but owing to the fog can't be sure. Papa's pass is "Not good on limited trains," so he will have to take No.8. Now what I am thinking of mostly just now is this. I am wild to flag No.8, but at present see no way of doing so, for who would come home with me? As to flagging that would be easy for the Agent does not go up there except when he has to flag, or the like, so I could have the pleasure of "swinging her down" My how I do want to.
Helen Muir may not have been as well known in Martinez history as her older sister Wanda because unlike Wanda, Helen spent some of her youth and adult life in Southern California. Because she was often sick the doctors felt that her health would improve in the dryer desert climate of Southern California.
While in Southern California she met and married Buel Alvin Funk in October 1909. Together they had four sons:
Muir Haley FUNK - b. February 2, 1911. d. Dec. 28, 1978
Stanley MUIR - b. July 17, 1912. d. August 17 1962
John MUIR - b. June 28, 1914. d. April 23, 1973
Walter MUIR - b. May 27, 1916, d. December 9, 2004
In 1940, Helen legally changed her name to Helen Funk Muir and three of her sons changed their surname from Funk to Muir also. Son, Muir Haley Funk, did not because his first name was Muir.
Helen died in Spokane Washington on June 17, 1964. She is buried next to her husband, Buel Alvin Funk in the Bellevue Memorial Cemetery in Ontario, California.
John Muir (1838 - 1914)
Louisiana Wanda Strentzel Muir (1847 - 1905)
Buel Alvin Funk (1889 - 1934)
Wanda Muir Hanna (1881 - 1942)*
Helen Lillian Muir (1886 - 1964)
Bellevue Memorial Park
San Bernardino County
Created by: Lori Lumsden Smith
Record added: Feb 08, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 124823226