Robert (Bob) William Funk, Sr. passed away in his home in Morelia, Mexico, on Jan.19, 2011. Born Sept. 6, 1939, Bob grew up in Kentland, the grandson of Edward J. Funk, for whom a family seed corn company was named. In 1971, Bob and his brother Don assumed major ownership of Edw. J. Funk & Sons and ushered it to new heights, re: product, marketing techniques, and sales volume. One innovative idea was to introduce a fitness program for employees which drew national media attention. A?newspaper once referred to Kentland as, "The town that runs."
Bob was a 1957 graduate of A.J. Kentland High School, and St. Joe's College, Rensselear (Class of 1961). In later years, he continued his education at the University of Chicago.
In 1979, Bob left the family business and years later, owned and managed the NuJoy Restaurant, a Kentland landmark. In later years, Bob engaged in a spiritual quest that drew him to Taos, N.M., and, eventually, to Mexico. Through these years, he wrote a number of "epistles" that focused on the spiritual lessons he was learning and which he wanted to share with family and friends.
His first wife is Margie Harlan, who lives in Santa Barbara, Calif. Surviving from his first marriage are four children, Robert W. Funk Jr., (Sue Perkins) of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Christopher C. (Sabina Baratucci) of Santa Barbara, Calif., Maria N. Funk Reine (Gregg) of Indianapolis, and Michael A. (fiance Donna Roller) of Denver, Colo.?Known as Roberto by his Mexican family, he is survived by his wife, Mercedes of Morelia, Mexico, and their five children: Luis, Lupita, Arlene, Jesus, and Sebastian. He married his wife Mercedes in 2002.
Bob was the son of William E. Funk and Arlene Nelson Funk and?brother to Joy Funk Covarrubias, and they have preceded him in death. He is survived by his brothers, Donald Everett of Chicago, William Richard of Kentland, and William Nelson of West Lafayette, Ind. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Bob and Emma Funk, Amalie and Theolonius Funk, and Alexander Reine. In addition, he is survived by eight nephews and five nieces.
A funeral mass was held Monday, Jan. 24, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kentland at 11 a.m.