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Robert Funkhouser

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MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS -- Robert G. Funkhouser, our partner, brother, uncle, friend, colleague and associate, passed over very early the morning of Aug. 10, 2007, when his body suddenly and unexpectedly failed him.

He was born July 3, 1957, in Berkeley, Calif., the son of Selmes Paul and Terry (Carson) Funkhouser. He attended elementary school in Manhasset, N.Y., and graduated from high school at Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester before moving to Telluride, Colo. There he was known early on as a member of the skiing “Flying Epoxy Sisters,” then for his fine work as a master craftsman and builder, and more recently for his fervent dedication as president of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition. In that capacity he coordinated efforts by hundreds of organized groups and thousands of individuals and was the primary national spokesman to Congress against public lands access fees. He was working closely with members of the U.S. Senate on his long-time goal of legislation to roll back these fees. He dedicated the last six years of his life to the cause of keeping public lands free and open to all. He will be sorely missed, but his cause and passion will be pursued by his many and diverse friends and associates.

Robert was a resident of Norwood, Colo., and Middletown Springs. At various points on his journey, he also spent time working as a commercial fisherman off Montauk on Long Island and resided near Santa Barbara, Calif. and Dorset, where his fine restoration work will stand for many years as testament to his rare vision, talent, spirit and commitment.

Rob was a wildly sentimental collector and storyteller who loved “critters,” the great out of doors, military history, dancing, fun hats and toys, Mickey Mouse, a clever joke and the fact that it seemed to him that each year on the night of his birthday, the entire country celebrated with fireworks.

He is survived by his longtime love and life partner Dietra Davis of Middletown Springs, and also by his three sisters and their families, whose closeness Rob so dearly valued: Judy Carr of Sarasota, Fla., and her sons Brian and his partner Jillian Lineberger of Boulder, Colo., and Tyler and his wife, Amanda, of South Burlington, Vt.; Sara Purrington of Hendersonville, N.C., and her daughter Anna of Charlotte, N.C.; and Nancy Leary, her husband, James, and their children Sarah, Jenifer and Carson of Brandon. He also leaves many close friends whom he loved deeply and whose love he cherished. He was predeceased in 1984 by his father, Paul Funkhouser, of Tortolla, Va. and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; in 1986 by his mother, Terry Meachem, of Dorset, Vt.; in 1987 by his stepfather, Sidney Meachem, of Dorset, and in June of this year by his stepmother, Janet Funkhouser of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Friends, neighbors and colleagues are invited to join us in celebrating Robert’s life on Friday, Aug. 17, 2007, at the Dorset Inn in Dorset at 11 a.m., beginning with time to gather together, followed by a brief period of remembrance and then by a light brunch. A private inurnment will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery in Dorset. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to The Western Slope No-Fee Coalition, P.O. Box 135, Durango, CO 81301, or to a charity of one’s choice.

Information supplied by the funeral home.

Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 13, 2007
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