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