Helen Lillian <I>Muir</I> Funk

Helen Lillian Muir Funk

Martinez, Contra Costa County, California, USA
Death 17 Jun 1964 (aged 78)
Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, USA
Burial Ontario, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Memorial ID 124823226 · View Source
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Helen Lillian Muir was born on January 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 in Martinez California.

Helen along with her father shared a love for locomotives and 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 trestle bridge was erected through the vineyards and the trains passed by the Muir home several times a day. The sale of the right of way offered the Muir family free fare on the train. It also provided endless hours of amusement for Helen. Helen's facination with trains led her to learn the timetables and the numbers on the trains as they passed by her bedroom window. She ordered different publications about trains 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 publishers wouldn't send the "precious books" to a girl. Her journal entry in January, 1902 record that she received "18 lovely locomotive pictures with which to decorate my room." She hung the prints on the walls 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 records "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."

As a young girl Helen learned how to flag (to stop the train) at Muir Station. In her journal entry of January 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. About fifteen minutes ago a special went through here with the No.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, 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 most of her adult life in Southern California and Arizona. In 1905 Helen contracted tuberculosis. Her doctors felt that her health would improve in the drier desert climate of Southern California and Arizona.
While in Southern California she met Buel Alvin Funk and in October 1909 they married. Together they had four sons:
Muir Haley Funk - b. February 2, 1911. d. Dec. 28, 1978
Stanley Muir Funk - b. July 17, 1912. d. August 17 1962
John Muir Funk - b. June 28, 1914. d. April 23, 1973 and
Walter Muir Funk - 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. Her 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.

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  • Created by: Lori Lumsden Smith
  • Added: 8 Feb 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 124823226
  • Lori Lumsden Smith
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Helen Lillian Muir Funk (23 Jan 1886–17 Jun 1964), Find a Grave Memorial no. 124823226, citing Bellevue Memorial Park, Ontario, San Bernardino County, California, USA ; Maintained by Lori Lumsden Smith (contributor 46984773) .