ROUNDUP — Paul G Funk was born in Hebron, N. D., on July 7, 1915, to Herman Franz and Selma Golberg Funk. His growing years were spent in Hebron and in Spring Grove, Minn., where he lived with his mother's sister Palma and her husband Fred. He had lifetime friends and fond memories in both places. He did learn to play the saxophone during this time and the instrument became a big part of his enjoyment and his life.
After graduation from high school, Paul had hopes of attending college but life has a way of happening that does not always fulfill expectations. He went to work for J C Penney to reach those goals but circumstances changed and that dream was set aside. Instead, he found himself traveling to Roundup, Mont., on April 1, 1937 to take on the job of assistant manager for the J C Penney store on Roundup's main street. That was a time when the coal mines were running full tilt and he found a town where the main street was filled with people almost every night of the week-just enjoying life (the stores were open until 9 p.m. in those days). It was not something he was used to seeing in Hebron--even on a Saturday night.
He always said that he fell in love with Roundup at first sight and it was a vow he kept for the next 76 years-even though he had several very good business opportunities that would have taken him away. This was home and here was where he was going to stay and raise his family.
After arrival (in his own words), he met, pursued and married LaVerna Charlton. This all happened by December 3rd of that same year-1937. Obviously, he was not a man to let the grass grow under his feet. She was the love of his life until she passed away on Sept. 26, 2003. They had four children together along the way-Paul E, born in 1940, Jon in 1943, Susan in 1946 and Bill 5 years later in 1951. Three of those children (Jon and Sherrill, Susan and Roger Baxter and Bill) live in Roundup. Butch and Danny live in Copras Cove, Texas.
He moved from Penney's to Staunton Chevrolet, where he spent his next few years before opening Musselshell Valley Equipment in 1946, with International Harvester trucks and farm machinery. There were some tough, lean times then but hard work and a lot of good and loyal employees did pay off and MVE became a success. It was never a bed of roses but the dealership stayed put. Paul added Buick motorcars in 1948 and spent some with New Holland and Hesston as well. Chevrolet and Oldsmobile were added (per a GM request) in the late 1960s.
He had pride in that dealership, but he talked more about the fact that he was one of the oldest living Eagle Scouts in the Billings district--a life member of Unity Masonic Lodge--a strong supporter of the Shrine Temple and their dedication to children's medicine--a loyal member of Zion Lutheran church and a dedicated strong supporter (always) of his chosen community and home - Roundup, Mont. School board, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce etc.-etc.-etc.--the list goes on and on. But he would be proud to know that his life could best be summed up in the words from the Masonic Burial Rights. To live respected and die regretted - that was Paul Funk--our Dad, Grandfather--and friend.
At 97 + Years, it's a sure bet that many friends and family went before him. These included his wife LaVerena; parents Herman and Selma Funk; brother Bud Funk and his wife Marg and his sister Rose Marie Johnson and husband Bob.
He is survived by his sister Betty Benson; his four children--Paul E (Butch), Jon, Susan Baxter, and Bill; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Visitation will be 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at Wier Funeral Chapel. Services for Paul will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Roundup, Mont., followed by Masonic Grave Site services at the new Roundup Cemetery east of town. Luncheon will be served following the burial at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street.