Cover photo for James M. Funk's Obituary
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1944 James 2024

James M. Funk

July 8, 1944 — May 21, 2024

Lancaster

James M. Funk, age 79, of Lancaster, passed away Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born July 8, 1944, the son of Harold and Anita (Daumitz) Funk. Jim graduated Lancaster High School in 1962. At the brand-new Lancaster Senior High, he met the love of his life, Ellen Bishell, whom he married 2 years after graduation, on August 1, 1964, at St. Clement Catholic Church.  Ten years and 5 children later, he was firmly entrenched as a family man.  Jim went to work for his father Harold and years later took over the business. Jim hauled fuel for the Cenex Co-op and other businesses for 40+ years and his children remember each taking a day in the summer and riding in the tractor-trailer, bouncing along in a springless seat stopping at the Verona Cafe for breakfast before continuing all the way to the McFarland terminals to get a 25-cent Coke.

The smell of diesel meant dad was home, a pleasant smell to this day. Slabtown Kid was his handle and he was a Slabtown guy. He loved his kids...the responsible one (Michele), the funny one (Chris), the quiet one (Paul), the smart one (Dan), and the pretty one (Jen). They remember how he played Bucking Bronco on his knee, and when the toddler put something dangerous in their mouth the command was "Ach Poo, Spit Out!"

He rode the family minibike when no one was looking and made the meanest Sunday skillet breakfast. His limited culinary skills were exposed when Ellen joined the workforce when the youngest was in High School. If not for the family business, he would have been a carpenter. And it showed. The furniture he built and the things he could fix cannot be duplicated. And he loved music, from Ray Price to the Doors, you could catch him humming to the Sound of Silence. 

The 12 grandchildren remember fondly the Easter egg hunts; him lighting sparklers with a blowtorch before watching the 4th of July fireworks from the back of his pickup; and how he would pick up the Jack in Euchre no matter what he had in his hand. And he left his children with words of wisdom: Do what you need to, then do what you want; a ballad is a ballad whether it's hard rock or country; and quit making your sister cry.

So, we say goodbye to a great, quiet man, to a son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather who loved stronger than he let on.

Surviving is his loving wife of 59 years: Ellen; their children: Michele (Dan) Krupa, Christopher, Paul, Daniel (Andrea) Funk and Jennifer Carl; 12 grandchildren; five great grandchildren, two sisters: Carol (Joseph) Chulew and Cheryl Funk; and many members of the Bishell family.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents: Harold and Anita.

Private family services will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Private family burial will be at St. Clement Cemetery.  Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster is assisting the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James M. Funk, please visit our flower store.

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