Virgil Funk

ROANOKE - Virgil L. Funk, 99, of Roanoke passed away at 2:09 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the Apostolic Christian Home of Roanoke.

Virgil was born on Feb. 12, 1915, near Francesville, Ind., to John C. and Alice Steffen Funk. He married Marie E. Grebner on Feb. 1, 1941, in Kansas City, Mo. She died on Aug. 7, 2012, at the age of 93. Except for the World War II years, they spent their entire life together in Roanoke.

Surviving are two sons, John (Peggy) Funk of Morton, Ill., and James (Marsha) Funk of Carlock, Ill.; one sister, Eunice Schupbach of Normal; one sister-in-law, Esther Funk of Roanoke; five grandchildren, Matt (Staci) Funk, Lynn (Phil) Halcomb, Kyle (Christina) Funk, Kirk (Nina Patel) Funk and Karly Funk; and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and three sisters.

Much of his early life was spent living and working on family farms in central Illinois. Virgil graduated from Roanoke High School in 1933. He worked at the Altorfer Bros. Company (ABC) factory in Peoria from 1934 to 1941. In 1941, Virgil enlisted in the U.S. Navy and saw extensive action on board a gunboat in the South Pacific, including the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines. He was a member of the Roanoke American Legion Post 463. In 2011, at 96, he participated in a Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Soon after returning from military service, he was hired by Caterpillar Tractor Company, completed a two-year apprentice training program, and spent a total of 32 years with the company before retiring in early 1977. For many years, Virgil also owned a tractor business in Roanoke, working for contractors and farmers and plowing gardens for locals.

Virgil and Marie were avid gardeners, fishermen, golfers and Cubs fans. He played baseball, both before and after the war, for the Roanoke town team. Always fit, he also enjoyed hunting and active sports with family members.

He was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus in Roanoke.

Funeral Mass will be held today at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Roanoke. Father Eugene Radosevich will officiate. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 to 10:30 a.m. today, prior to the services at the church. Burial with military rites will be in Roanoke Township Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Apostolic Christian Home or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Funeral Home

Knapp-Johnson-Harris Funeral Home
204 W Husseman St Roanoke, IL 61561
(309) 923-3651

Published in Peoria Journal Star from June 9 to June 10, 2014