Walter A. Funk

Walter A. Funk

Elkhart County, Indiana, USA
Death 3 Jul 1943 (aged 85)
Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington, USA
Burial South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA
Plot Section A
Memorial ID 146470151 · View Source
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South Bend Tribune
Sunday, July 11, 1943
Section 2 - Page(s) 1 & 3 3rd column


Former Judge's Body Expected Here Tuesday

Word was received here Saturday of the death in Bremerton, Wash., of Walter A. Funk, aged 85, former prominent South Bend attorney and judge of the St. Joseph circuit court 24 years until his retirement in 1924, holding the position longer than any other judge in the history of the court.

A telegram notified the A. M. Russell funeral home that the body would arrive here early Tuesday morning. Funeral services will be held either Tuesday or Wednesday, and burial will be in Riverview cemetery. Judge Funk was injured July 1, in an automobile accident at Tenino, Wash., and died of shock July 3. His daughter-in-law, who was driving the car, was injured, as was Mrs. John Sender, also of Bremerton, and a passenger in the car. The machine left the highway and crashed into a house. Because of her injuries, the daughter-in-law is not expected to accompany the body to South Bend.

Judge Funk had resided in Bremerton with his son and daughter-in-law since shortly after the death of his wife here in 1935. The son, Capt. William Harris Funk, of the navy medical corps, died of pneumonia in Kodiak, Alaska, last Jan. 6 while on active duty.

Judge Funk was born in Elkhart county, Indiana, Dec. 18, 1857, a son of William Funk, an Elkhart county farmer and saw mill operator. He received his early education in the schools of Goshen and Valparaiso, Ind., and in 1885 was graduated from the college of law, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For two years he was a student in the law offices of Judge Smith in Cassopolis, Mich., and of Andrew Anderson in South Bend. In 1886 he came to this city and began a long and successful law practice.

He was attorney for a number of leading corporations here and followed that service as circuit judge of the St. Joseph county circuit court serving from 1900 to 1924 when he retired from active practice because of ill health. He ran for state senator on the republican ticket in 1892, but although he ran ahead of his ticket he failed of election. Before entering law practice Judge Funk worked for his father and taught school in Elkhart county, beginning when he was 16 years of age.

Judge Funk was exceedingly conscientious in his judicial position even to almost ostracizing himself. So fearful was he of any word, any conversation, any act on the part of others might prejudice him when trying a case that he almost kept aloof from people. If anyone asked him a question which might appear to bear on a case on trial he would courteously make them understand he could say nothing.

In later years he had a different view, saw that he could enjoy the company of others and could do so without in any way involving his judicial opinion and honor and so became a most delightful companion and conversationalist. Life seemed to assume a different and happier objective and in spite of ill health and often severe physical pain he found much enjoyment. He liked good plays and was especially fond of high class comic opera and with Mrs. Funk was a frequent theater attendant.

Judge Funk was referred to at the close of his practice as a "judge whose rectitude was never questioned, whose reputation for fairness has been unequalled, whose capacity for commanding the respect and honor of lawyers who tried their cases before him and the accused who sought justice in his court is acknowledged far and wide."

When about to retire from the bench he entered court for his final day, Judge Funk was greeted by members of the St. Joseph County Bar association, county and city officials and friends who thronged the court room and who rose and stood in silent tribute to him. It was a rare public tribute, accorded spontaneously by his community. In April of that year the lawyers of the St. Joseph County Bar association presented to the county a life size portrait of Judge Funk painted in oil by G. Ames Aldrich to be placed on the wall of the court room in which he served.

Judge Funk was married April 21, 1892, to Miss Mary E. Harris, of South Bend. She passed away Jan. 23, 1935.

Surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Chloe Winters, Sandusky, O.; Mrs. George Moon, Detroit, Mich., and Mrs. Effie Hauenstein, Elkhart, and two brothers, Kaufman Funk, St. Louis, Mo., and Nelson Funk, Kankakee, Ill. The Misses Gertrude L. Myers and Margaret Myers, of this city, and Mrs. John I. Shafer, of Logansport, Ind., are nieces, and Dr. Edgar H. Myers, Coral Gables, Fla., and Fred C. Myers, Atlanta, Ga., nephews.

Provided by Find A Grave contributor Cindi

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  • Created by: bill3262
  • Added: 14 May 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 146470151
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Walter A. Funk (18 Dec 1857–3 Jul 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 146470151, citing Riverview Cemetery, South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by bill3262 (contributor 48550421) .