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Edward L. Funkhouser

Edward Leland Funkhouser, was born July 29, 1903 at Dale Hamilton Co. 
Illinois the son of Thomas J, Funkhouser and Anna Elizabeth Lemay. He 
married Alice Katherine Strattan daughter of Elmer Frances Strattan 
and Hattie Marie Ellis on June 16,1923 at Mt Vernon IL.

My Daddy, Strong, kind, good natured, great sense of humor, always 
there for us. He was a good family man who loved God, Mother, his 
children and the Church. He sang the praises of God and Jesus for 
years in Church meetings all over Southern Illinois. He was hard 
working and never without an income. We never went hungry, we ate 
"cafeteria style" a few times but we ate.

Daddy loved to take us on family trips to the Reservoir where Grandpa 
Strattan was the Caretaker, they had a consession stand, cabins to rent 
as well as fishing boats. The road was a curving dirt road and we would 
all sing "She'll be Coming around the mountain when she comes" I doubt 
that many of you remember that old song but we knew it well. There 
was a swimming pool called Going's or Cummins and we would ride along 
singing Chattanooga Choo Choo or Sentimental Journey all the way there 
and all the way home. Daddy used to kid us us are we going to Cummins 
or coming to Going's. Well I'm still confused because I can't tell you 
which way it was to this day. He had a little Ford Coup and he propped 
the trunk up with a big stick and spread some blankets for padding and 
off we would go to Benton Lake, a long 22 miles away, at the time it 
probably took an hour to get there. He was always ready to beat the 
summer heat, we had many family outing's and we loved it.

I being the youngest daughter, I can't tell you a lot about the jobs 
Daddy held. I may be wrong on some things I remember, after all I was 
only a child. I know that Daddy and my Uncle Prather went into business 
at a Filling Station at the entrance to the county fairgrounds and they 
went bust. I think that he sold vaccum cleaners for a short time, after 
that he had a job at the Shoe Factory until the War broke out, then he 
was a foreman at the Bomb Plant during the War. The Bomb Plant was 
converted from the Car Shops. I remember worring that the bombs might 
explode and kill my Daddy. He worked at the Mitchell Furniture Company 
when I was in High School and he was working in the furniture dept. at 
Montgomery Wards when I graduated. I went to Springfield to work and 
lived with my Aunt Helen and Uncle Prather, that didn't last very long. 
I had a job at Myers Brothers in the clothing dept. until I got word 
that Dad had crushed his hand in the freight elevator at work, it had 
severed his thumb from his hand, Dad picked up the thumb and drove 
himself to the hospital where they put in an artificial joint and re-
attached his thumb. Pretty good for medicine in the mid fifties don't 
you think? I realized then that something could happen to one of my 
parents and I wouldn't be there, so I quit my job and returned home. 
Daddy was out of work for awhile as his hand healed. I met Jim and 
married him and when he went to find work in Nevada, Daddy drove me 
there to be with him. I really got to know my him on that long trip, 
we ran into a blizzard while in Arizona and we were scared, but Daddy 
trusted God and I trusted him and we made it through. He said that 
leaving me there so far from home with a boy he hardly knew was one 
of the hardest things he ever had to do.

When Daddy got a job with the State as an Auditor he had to travel 
and Mother hated it but it was good pay, good benefits and retirement. 
He was allowed to take her with him sometimes but not often. The 
amazing thing is that he had to pass a test to land that job and he 
only had a 10th grade education, he was really nervous and thought 
that he would fail the test but he took it anyway. Low and behold he 
missed only one question, the question was: What is a short ton? He 
went straight to the dictionary when he returned home and looked 
it up, from that day on he had a word of the day. He would look up 
a word and have fun using it in sentences all that day. All good 
things must come to an end and when the Kennedy Administration came 
in Dad lost his job as State Auditor.

Renting out their home, Dad and Mother came to Nevada to retire but 
soon Dad found work in contruction but he was not used to the heat 
and Mother was afraid for him so they decided to return to Mt. Vernon. 
Their house which they had rented out while away was a mess and they 
had to redo it. Dad was working again at Mitchells Furniture. Mother 
was so busy she didn't remember to take her blood pressure medicine 
and she suffered a stroke. After some time Mother was mastering 
walking again when she fell and broke her hip. They put a pin in her 
hip but she never walked again. Dad had a Heart and Gallbladder 
attack during this period. Mother had the stroke at age 58 and died 
when she was 64. I came home from Nevada to see her and was able to 
talk with her a bit before she died. I had to leave the day after 
the funeral and I will say that was one of the hardest things I ever 
did, Dad looked so small and alone as that plane left the ground that 
day. I cried all the way to Albuquerque.

Dad came to Nevada again to live, he worked for Jim's brother-in-
law Dale Briner. Dale owned a Water Well Drilling Company and Dad 
kept the books for him. He seemed happy but one day he asked what 
I thought about him marrying again. I answered that I only wanted 
him to be happy. Seems he had been in touch with an old friend and 
they were discussing it and he did it he married Dorothy Pearson 
September 19, 1970, he then moved to Wisconsin as that is where 
she was employed.

The next ten years, I'm not sure of. Dad and Dorothy separated 
and he returned to Mt. Vernon to live, Dorothy remained in Wisconsin. 
After his return to Mt. Vernon he lived in public housing for a time. 
I wrote him long letters almost every day and he did the same. We made 
tapes of us all singing the songs of the day and he loved that. Music 
was always a big part of Dad's life. When my brother Lynn moved to 
Nevada, Dad came back again. We set him up in a place of his own. His 
health was failing he had several episodes with his heart and then 
developed Parkinson's Disease. He was in and out of the hospital a 
lot the next ten years. He lived with Lynn and Betty for the last 
few years until we could not give him the care he needed. We had to 
place him in a nursing home because of the Parkinson's.

With all of his health problems he never lost his sense of humor. 
He passed away December 23, 1987 at the Henderson Convalescent Home, 
Henderson, Clark County NV. He was 84. I guess he wanted to be there 
for the big Birthday Party in Heaven. He was cremated and laid 
to rest with my Mother at the Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Written and Submitted by Nancy E. Davis

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