James Paul Funston, 78, died peacefully on July 11, 2018 in Yakima, Washington. Jim was born in Reydon, Oklahoma on November 4,1939. His childhood was spent in Canyon, Texas until his family moved to Medford, Oregon where he spent his high school years, excelling in sports as well as academics. He continued those passions in college at Oregon State University, playing football all 4 years. He was a starter on the 1962 team, one of Oregon State’s most successful teams in the history of the program, posting a 9-2 record, winning the 1962 Liberty Bowl and inducted into the Hall of Fame at OSU and State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. In 1962, he married his college sweetheart and partner in life of 56 years, Gloria Manipon.
Jim was an entrepreneur, a family man, and a good friend to many. He worked for the Firestone Tire Company after college, then began his own tire business and set down roots in Marysville, Washington. There, Jim and Gloria raised 3 children and became active in the community, where Gloria was a teacher. In addition to running Funston Tire Service, Jim also coached Little League and high school football and was active in the Lion’s Club and Rotary Club. He and Gloria frequently traveled with family and friends, often to Kauai – Gloria’s original home – but also around the rest of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Canada (especially to Big White Ski Resort). Later in life he loved to play golf, soccer, and downhill ski.
Jim is preceded in life by his parents, Opal and James A. Funston, sister Rowena Phelan, and daughter, Cynthia. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; 3 children: Kimo (Kris) Funston of Stanwood, WA, Todd (Mary) Funston of Marysville, WA, and Valerie (David) Barnett of Selah, WA; sister Mary Ellen Pond of Yuma, AZ, brothers Fred (Diann) Funston of Las Vegas, NV, and Alfred (JoDee) Funston of Sunriver, OR; grandchildren: McKenzie, Blake, Sara, Thomas, Benjamin, Ella, and Brittany; great-grandchildren Hunter & Emma; and numerous, nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 8, from 1-4 pm at The Pilchuck Event Center (8606 36th Ave. NE, Marysville). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s honor to The American Heart Association.