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Louise Anne Funaro

  • "To the family I gave a memorial gift to Hope Ministries in..."
  • "oh what a blessing to know Louise we sang together laugh..."
    - Nora Pease
  • "My sincere sympathy to the family for the loss of your dear..."
  • "Dearest daughters and families, We loved Louise & Charlie...."
    - Rose Mary and Bob Pratt
  • "To Michelle, Caroline, Patty, and Janette-My prayers and..."
    - Fr. Chris Fontanini

Louise Anne Funaro

West Des Moines

Louise Anne Funaro, 87, passed from this life on March 11, 2014, at Mercy Medical Center - West Lakes in West Des Moines. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 17, at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1230 Merle Hay Rd. Burial will follow at Glendale Cemetery. A visitation will be held at Hamilton's Funeral Home, 605 Lyon St, on Sunday, March 16, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. A rosary will be recited at 5:30 p.m.

The youngest of eight children, Louise was born in the small coal mining town of Enterprise, IA on April 14, 1926, to Rosina (Fratti) and Giuseppe Fontanini, who immigrated to the United States from the hill towns near Frassinoro, Italy. The family first moved from Enterprise to a farm near Ankeny, IA, and then into the town of Ankeny in the late 1930's. As a child, Louise loved and excelled in school - something she later inspired in her daughters. She graduated in 1944 from Ankeny High School, where she played basketball.

After working for a time at Curtis Candy Company in Des Moines, Louise joined the Polk County Auditor's office. It was at the Polk County Court House that she met Charles D. (Charlie) Funaro, whom she married in 1956. They were the happily married parents of four daughters and, to all who knew and loved them, an unintended comedy duo for 55 years until Charlie's death in 2012.

Charlie and Louise were long-time members of St. Peter Catholic Church, where Louise was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society. Louise was deeply committed to her religion throughout her life, and made Catholic education for her children a priority. She had a particularly strong devotion to the Virgin Mary, and said her rosary daily. Her faith sustained her through the many health issues she experienced in recent years.

Louise had a strong belief in fairness and justice, which she learned from her parents and from the close-knit community in which she grew up. A child of the depression, Louise became a staunch Democrat in the FDR years, and never wavered. From the "Give 'em Hell, Harry" days of the 1940's through the "Yes We Can" Obama years, Louise was active in Democratic politics on all levels. She instilled in her daughters the importance of political activism and having compassion for all people.

Louise was most of all a loving wife, mother, and friend. She demonstrated her devotion in countless ways, but principally through the sympathetic ear she always offered, her honesty and good counsel, her great Northern Italian cooking, and her sharp sense of humor - the latter of which she exhibited every day of her life, including her last.

Left to honor Louise's memory are her daughters, Michelle (Edward) Jaselskis and granddaughter, Sophia, of Durham, NC; Caroline Funaro (Drew Gordon) and grandchildren, Gabrielle and Anthony, of Urbandale; Patricia Funaro of West Des Moines; and Janette Funaro (Jared Satz) of Kansas City, MO; sisters-in-law, Mary Gabriel and Michaela Funaro; and many, many extended family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and siblings.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Edgewater for their loving care of Louise during the final years of her life, as well as the staffs of St. Theresa and Mercy West Lakes.

Memorial gifts may be directed to St. Theresa Catholic Church, St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, or the Ankeny Area Historical Society in Louise's name. Online condolences may be made at

Published in Des Moines Register from Mar. 14 to Mar. 16, 2014
Funeral Home
Hamilton’s Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street Des Moines, IA 50309
Funeral Home Details