Frank Funk died Friday, 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. Their first child, Steven Eric Funk, was born in 1950, while Frank was teaching at Lehigh. Frank and Ruth Anne taught as graduate students at Purdue, while earning their PhDs.
Frank then 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.
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, near the home of his daughter, Karen. After a year of "lunch and adventures" on weekends, 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 was survived by his daughter, Karen Funk Blocher (husband John Blocher), his stepdaughters Janet Johnson (husband James Tremblay) and Dr. Amy Sisley, his sister Marie Funk Helwig (d. 10/21/2015), nieces and nephews.
The first memorial service was at St Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Tucson, AZ on Thursday, August 27th. The funeral and interment was at First Presbyterian in Wilmington, NC, Tuesday, September 1st.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Wilmington Symphony, Syracuse University, or the Wilmington Railroad Museum.
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