Mittie Elsie Melder Funderburk Kay
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Mittie Elsie Melder Funderburk Kay of Austin, Texas, died Friday, January 25, 2013 at Sagebrook Health Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Her 96 years are a tribute to God's grace and providential care.
She was born October 1, 1916, in "a log house in the middle of a cotton patch," in southwest Rapides Parish, Louisiana to Joseph Edgar Melder and Effie Stokes Melder. She was delivered by her Grandpa Wright, a country doctor.
Mittie, a graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La, taught school for 28 years in Rapides Parish, first in a one room school house in St. Clair, La., where during the depression, she stirred state-provided soup over a wooden stove while calling out spelling words. She then taught at Oak Hill and at Lecompte Elementary. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa Honorary Teachers' Sorority. She whistled as she walked into the school building every day for she loved teaching and loved her students. Mittie described herself as "the wagon master," and students and family were exhorted and encouraged, often with expressions like "'Can't' never could do anything," and "Back your ears and do it" (picture a mule pulling a heavy load). Admittedly, sometime that encouragement came in the form of a switch or the exhortation in the form of a threat to be sent to the pea patch to pull cockleburs.
Her first husband of 42 years, Wilmer Columbus Funderburk, an infant daughter, her parents, Joseph Edgar Melder and Effie Stokes Melder, her sister Irma, brothers J. T. Melder, J. C. Melder, Eddie Melder, and Harold Melder predecease her.
Mittie is survived by her husband of 26 years, Barney Kay, brothers L. J. Melder and Trent Melder of Natchitoches, La., Joe Collin Melder of Calcasieu, La., sisters Lynn Herbert of Albuquerque, NM and Jackie Murphey of Macon, GA, daughters Virginia Funderburk Seideman (Chuck), Julia Funderburk Antilley, Irma Funderburk Howard (Gene), son Reid Funderburk (Karen), grandchildren Marvin Gordey, Marianne Gordey Sloan, Lance Antilley, Laura Antilley Ryon, Eric Howard, Joel Howard, Kristi Funderburk Priddy, Lyndsey Funderburk Testone, Jaclyn Funderburk Benson all of Austin, Texas, and Ashley Funderburk Cobb of Slidell, La. Also surviving her are 18 great grandchildren, Morgan Gordey Curren, Madison Gordey, Geoffrey Sloan, Elizabeth Ryon, Nathan Howard, Jonathan Howard, Mittie Anne Howard, Ethan Howard, Ruth Howard, Rebecca Howard, Ashton Priddy, Riley Priddy, Avery Priddy, Kate Testone, Jack Testone, Meg Testone, Maggie Cobb, and Emma Benson.
A funeral service will be held at 3 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at The Church at Canyon Creek, 9001 N FM 620, Austin, TX 78726, under the direction of Cook-Walden Chapel of the Hills. A burial service will be at 1 pm Friday, February 1, 2013 at Pine Ridge Cemetery, 42 Buckhorn Road, Melder, La., 71433 under the direction of Hixson Brothers, Alexandria, LA. Fellowship will follow at the Pine Ridge Baptist Church Hall.
God's providential care for Mittie was especially evident in the love and tender devotion of her husband Barney Kay. May God be with him and bless him.
Pallbearers are Marvin Gordey III, Lance Antilley, Eric Howard, Joel Howard, Geoffrey Sloan, and Nathan Howard.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Women's Ministry at The Church at Canyon Creek, 9001 N FM 620, Austin, TX 78726, or to Pine Ridge Baptist Church, 42 Buckhorn Road, Melder, La., 71433.
Published in The Town Talk from Jan. 28 to Jan. 31, 2013