THOMAS B. FUNK
It is with heavy hearts we announce the unexpected passing of Thomas Britton Funk on Saturday, November 23, 2019.
Tom was born September 26, 1940 to Donald S. Funk and Margaret L. Keefer at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, IL. He spent his childhood in River Forest, IL, where he was a boy scout soccer player who had early dreams of becoming a whaler. (Perhaps from the love of reading the book Moby Dick).
Tom enjoyed traveling and really loved the water. If he could spend every day on the water, he would: swimming, boating, canoeing or just out on a raft. It is no wonder he enjoyed his waterfront home on Washington Island. What was once his father’s home, Funk’s Cottage became a great getaway for friends and family. Tom loved inviting family from all over the county to enjoy the cottage with him.
Tom’s love and passion for European sports cars began in his early teens. This started with his Triumph TR3 and then went onto Porsche’s. Tom’s first Porsche was a 1963, 356 champagne yellow coupe. This car was perfect for Tom, as he would spend all of his summer weekends attending Porsche drives, dinners, events, gymkhanas, & SCCA car races. The best was pulling into Porsche Park at Elkhart Lake and driving Road America between races. Siebken’s Resort was always the after race spot. He was a proud member of Porsche Club of America and 356 Registry. Tom had an opportunity to purchase a beautiful signal red 1964 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet which forced him to sell his beloved yellow one. (Some may or may not know, he was able to buy back the yellow one and held on to it for years, but sold it to an excited young new Porsche lover!) The Cabriolet Porsche has been loved, driven and of course restored to original. One of the true loves of Tom’s life.
Tom fell in love with his high school sweetheart, Katharine J. Schreiber, while at Oak Park-River Forest High School. Tom left for Bradley University as Kay was a senior in high school and when Kay graduated, Tom transferred to the University of Illinois to be reunited with Kay. They married September 1, 1962.
Honeymoon baby, Kristin Mellina, was born on America’s birthday, July 4, 1963. Amy Elizabeth, their second daughter was born twenty-one months later, on April 6, 1965. They found the perfect home in Elmhurst and raised their girls there.
Tom had very successful careers in his life. He started as a loan collector, (working McDonalds at night) and then sold life insurance. He was inducted in to Lincoln Centurion, the Emancipator Club, and Man of the Year awards. He was a proud member of the Elmhurst Lions Club – of course receiving an award for the most “FUN” speaker. (Can’t spell Funk without FUN!) Tom was a great employee but knew that he was not passionate about this kind of work. Tom’s love of cars, particularly rebuilding his own Porsche, was really where he wanted to put his time and energy. He finally started his own business, 356 Works (Werks) specializing only on vintage bathtubs. Porsche 356’s. He mentioned many times he would feel guilty charging people for the work he did on their cars because he loved every second of it. Tom spent most of his waking hours on these restorations, earning respect from 356 Porsche owners across the country. Tom Funk was living his dream!
Tom was loyal to the Chicago Bear’s, Cubs, & Bulls. He would most recently be found on the sidelines at Northwestern Football games. He never missed any car race whether in person or on TV. Tom loved every war movie ever made and wouldn’t tell anybody but he really enjoyed a good love story as well.
Tom embraced life and lived it to the fullest. Tom treasured the time with his mother and often talked about her positive outlook on life. Tom worked hard to live by her rule. Tom was happy, Tom made others happy. Tom brought true meaning to “turn lemons into lemonade”, “go get -em Tiger”, “live life to the fullest” and “stop and smell the roses”. He also told us many times, I am the luckiest man alive and I am truly living the dream.
Tom is survived by daughters; Kristin (Joseph) Fedoruk, LaGrange, IL and Amy (Michael) Jorgenson, Washington Island, WI.
Sister; Sydney Ellen Muller, Portland, OR.
Grandchildren; Hailey Jorgenson, Ryan Jorgenson and Mellina Fedoruk.
He was proceeded in death by his Father, Donald S. Funk and Mother, Margaret L. Keefer.
Fondly remembered and loved by families: Guthrie (CA), Churchwell (TX), Hickman-Boyd (WA), Lyons and Reardon (OR), and Schreiber (OH, IL, CO, NE).
A Celebration of Life will be held for Thomas B. Funk at Santiago’s, in La Grange, Sunday, December 15th, 2019 from 12:30 – 3:30 pm. Please bring a story to share as we know there are many great ones out there, memory cards will be available.
He will be terribly missed. Gone too soon, God Bless, and may he rest in peace.