Walter John Funk

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Walter John Funk

Birthplace: Caoxian,, Shandong, China
Death: November 30, 1996 (70)
Millersburg, Elkhart County, Indiana, United States (Cancer)
Place of Burial: Millersburg, Elkhart County, Indiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Cornelius Harms Funk and Anna Lorene Funk
Husband of Amanda Funk
Father of Harry Funk; Private; Ruben A. Funk and Betty Ann Funk
Brother of Private and Reuben Roy Funk

Managed by: Lawrence Clark Fisher
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Walter John Funk

Walter John Funk

Walter J. Funk was born to missionary parents Cornelius and Anna Lorene (Franz) Funk on September 20, 1926 in rural Henan Province, China, although his birth was recorded in the nearest larger city of Caoxian, Shandong Province, China where the Chinese Mennonite Missionary Society under which his parents worked was headquartered. He, his parents and older brother Melvin returned to the USA late in 1927 due to constant political and military conflict in that region, which was a serious daily threat to their well-being and to their very lives.

Walter’s elementary schooling took place in various locations: on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana, and in the public schools of Floodwood, Minnesota and Hillsboro, Kansas. He graduated from Hillsboro (KS) High School, and studied at Tabor College (Mennonite) in Hillsboro, McPherson College (Brethren) in McPherson and Emporia State University (all in KS), and at the University of Minnesota. He graduated in 1965 from Sterling (KS) College, and also completed Graduate work at Wichita State University. His area of focused study was Natural Science and Mathematics Education.

In 1951, Walter volunteered for the Mennonite Disaster Service at Topeka, Kansas. While there he met Amanda Nisly, who was in Mennonite Voluntary service as an Administrative Aide at the Topeka State Mental Hospital.

On June 15, 1952 near Partridge, Kansas, Walter married Amanda Nisly. Four children were born to this union, in this order: Harry, Ruben, Marie and Betty (who had Down’s Syndrome).

He was ordained to ministry at Zion Mennonite Church, Pryor, OK in 1955, where he pastored for 4 years. He also served in Pastoral roles at Pleasant View Mennonite Church (Goshen, IN), Bean Blossom Church (Bean Blossom, IN) and at Mt. Zion Mennonite Church near Versailles, MO, which was his last Pastoral assignment. It’s interesting to note that his Pastoral service began at Zion Mennonite Church in 1955, and ended at Mt. Zion Mennonite Church in 1995.

Walter also was a teacher. He taught at Belleville Mennonite High School (Belleville, PA), Bethany Christian High School (Goshen, IN) and Valley Center Schools (Valley Center, KS). He also taught and served as Administrator of Clinton Christian Schools (Goshen, IN).

During his life, Walter also was a farmer in Oklahoma, Indiana and Missouri. He (helped by his wife Amanda and his sons Harry and Ruben) also built or remodeled more than 12 houses in those states. Over the years, he readily and regularly shared his building and construction skills by helping in structural repair, plumbing and electrical repairs, and providing other practical assistance to the members of the congregations where he pastored, particularly to the elderly and needy.

He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1994, and passed away in Millersburg Indiana at the home of his daughter and son-in-law Marie and Ben Whirledge on November 30, 1996.

His son Ruben passed away from leukemia in 2008, and Amanda and Betty passed away only 6 weeks apart in 2017. Currently in 2020, his son Harry (and wife Margie) live near New Carlisle, IN and his daughter Marie (and husband Ben Whirledge) live on a farm near Millersburg, IN.

His ministerial philosophy always was to first of all be a servant of God and of his congregations, and then to faithfully teach God’s Word. Last, but certainly not least, he always tried to demonstrate an attitude of quiet humility, in spite of his vast intelligence and knowledge.

Bio by Harry Funk, his son - April 2020




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Walter John Funk's Timeline

September 20, 1926
Caoxian,, Shandong, China
July 28, 1955
Pryor, Mayes County, Oklahoma, United States
August 26, 1963
Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas, United States
November 30, 1996
Age 70
Millersburg, Elkhart County, Indiana, United States
December 1, 1996
Age 70
Millersburg, Elkhart County, Indiana, United States