Helen Funk

Obituary of Helen Funk

FUNK, Helen (Nikkel)

1925 - 2022

Helen Funk’s earthly life has ended but her eternal life has just begun. We, her family, announce her passing on June 4, 2022 at West Park Lodge Red Deer, at the age of 97 years. Helen was born to Peter and Anna Nikkel in Orenburg, Russia and immigrated to Canada at age two, settling in Coaldale, Alberta, where she completed her schooling to grade 9, and met her husband Jacob C. Funk, whom she married in August 1947. They farmed there until 1971, when they moved to Grassy Lake, Alberta, and then in 1983 to Blueberry Mountain, Alberta. They retired from farming to Spirit River in 1995, and to Three Hills in 1998, due to Jake’s health. Here Helen spent most of her widowhood, until she moved to Red Deer West Park Lodge in February 2019.

Helen was predeceased by her parents, all ten older siblings and their spouses, son Edward Timothy in April 1968, granddaughter Laura Lynn Driedger in 1988, husband Jake in August 1998, and son Arthur Eldon in April 2016. Helen is survived by Alma (Red Deer), Melvin (Linda, Bay Tree, AB), Rosalyn Driedger (John, Bonners Ferry, Idaho), Anne Marie (Art, Dawson Creek, BC), and Charles (Andrea, Ottawa, ON), 11 grandchildren Pamela Bender, Karen Christakis, Paul Driedger, Sherry Wettscheck, Christin Driedger, Ricki Fisher, Brandon Funk, Ana Michelle Lichti, Stephen Funk, Matthew Funk, and Lindsay Funk, 25 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Helen was totally devoted and committed to her family, loving nothing better than a grand family reunion, a true matriarch. She roused to life whenever any of the family phoned or came to visit, even to her dying days. She was an excellent cook and especially thrived on baking yeast doughs, a successful gardener, particularly flowers, and was very interested in anything to do with farming. She was an avid reader throughout her life, and passed on a love for reading that which became a family favourite. She was a feisty woman, with an incredible resilience and fighting spirit, and she had a keen sense of dry humor even to her last days.

Recently Helen described herself as very religious from childhood. She memorized large texts of Scripture, brought religious practices into our home, and was very generous. She prayed deep persistent prayers for all her children, and often for her grandchildren and great grandchildren each one by name, until her last week. Her path included deep suffering of many kinds, which eventually led her to a deep personal faith and an assurance that God loved her, as is reflected in her favorite hymn “It is well with my soul” and her final themes of love and gratitude.

She will be laid to rest in a grave beside her husband in Three Hills Cemetery in a private family ceremony with Pastor Julie Cavanaugh officiating. The family is offering a memorial service at West Park Presbyterian Church (3628 - 57th Avenue, Red Deer) on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. which will be live-streamed. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to West Park Lodge staff for the exceptional care they provided Helen, particularly during the past weeks of her life.

Condolences for Helen's family may be emailed to meaningful@telus.net.

Arrangements in care of

Meaningful Memorials Funeral Service

A locally owned cremation and funeral provider

serving Red Deer and all of Central Alberta


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