James Claire Funke, 86, of Edgewood, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was born on June 2, 1935, at home in Greeley, the son of Frank and Clara (Clemen) Funke. Jim attended school in Greeley and at the age of 16 was a 1952 graduate of Greeley High School. After graduation, he farmed with his father until he turned 18. At that time, Jim enlisted in the United States Army and served honorably during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955. When he returned home, Jim started farming with his father and met the love of his life, Kathleen McMullen.
On February 16, 1956, Jim was united in marriage to Kathleen at St. Martin Catholic Church in Cascade. Five children were born to this union. The couple farmed together on a farm between Greeley and Edgewood until 1993 when they moved into Edgewood. Though living in town, Jim continued farming with his sons. Jim and Kathleen traveled all over the world. They wintered in Casa Grande, Arizona, for over 25 years.
Jim was a man of faith and community. He was a faithful member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Greeley and then at St. Mark Catholic Church in Edgewood. Jim was also a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus and the Greeley American Legion. He was a master pork producer and corn grower. Through his community involvement, Jim was an Edgewood-Colesburg School Board Member and was also an original board member of the Woods Edge Golf Course. He was always willing to help and support many community and economic developments in the Edgewood area. Above all else, Jim cherished his family and the time he spent with them, especially on the annual Lake Okoboji trip for the past 36 years.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Kathleen Funke of Edgewood; four children, Jay (Elaine) Funke of Edgewood, Jody (Dan) Mahnke of Fairfax, David (Rene) Funke of Swisher, and Michael (Stephanie) Funke of Manchester; eight grandchildren, J.C. (Leah) Funke, Michelle (Cain) Brady, Matt Funke, Danielle Mahnke, Abbey Mahnke, Ryan (Melissa) Funke, Morgan (Zach) Less, and Jordan Funke; ten great-grandchildren, plus one on the way; one sister, Elaine Hoffman of Guttenberg; and many nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Larry Funke; a brother, Francis Funke; and three sisters, Bernice Mensen, Rosemary Deutmeyer, and Elisabeth “Betty” Naber.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, a memorial fund has been established.
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