Funkhouser Barbara (1930 - 2014)

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Barbara Funkhouser, a journalism pioneer, died August 15 at the age of 84. She was the only female editor of the El Paso Times in the newspaper's 133-year history, serving from 1980 to 1986. She began her career in 1958 as a freelancer for a year, then worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News for a year before joining the staff of the El Paso Times. She also wrote the coffee-table book, "The Caregivers: El Paso's Medical History, 1898-1998." Born March 1, 1930, at Hotel Dieu Hospital in El Paso she was brought up on a farm in Fairacres that her parents purchased in 1924. Her father Kenneth Funkhouser died when she was 6, and her mother, Lucille and stepfather, Leon "Sparks" Tatreault ran the farm with help of hired labor until their deaths. Her brother, Kenneth, Jr. died in the early 1950s. She graduated from Las Cruces Union High School and from New Mexico State University in 1952 where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She spent six months in Europe on a 4-H Club exchange program and then worked for five years for the 4-H organization in Washington, D. C., and Chicago, before returning to New Mexico and beginning her career as a journalist. She also participated in early discussions with Gannett Company in the development of USA Today. She retired from the El Paso Times on June 1, 1990 but continued to work in her journalism field, teaching courses at New Mexico State University and writing editorials for the Las Cruces Sun-News. She remained active in the community and was a founding board member of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum. She continued running Tatreault Vineyard on her family farm until her death. She is survived by three cousins, Phyllis Denton, Gordon Denton, and Claire Shervanick, all of Las Cruces. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at St. James' Episcopal Church, 102 St. James Ave., Las Cruces, N.M. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions to made to Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, 301 South Church St., Suite H, Las Cruces, NM 88001. Services provided by La Paz-Grahams Funeral Home
Funeral Home
La Paz - Graham's Funeral Home - Las Cruces
555 West Amador  Las Cruces, NM 88005
575-526-6891
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 21, 2014
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