Rev. Donald Killian Funderburk

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Rev. Donald Killian Funderburk, 94, died early Monday, March 7, 2016 at Forsyth Medical Palliative Care Unit after a brief illness.

His funeral and celebration service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Friday, March 11 at Ardmore United Methodist Church on 630 S. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem by the Revs. Jock Ollis and Lisa Tanico. Family visitation will be from 1-2:30 p.m. at the church in the Rozzelle Chapel. Burial will follow at Center United Methodist Church Cemetery in Welcome.

He was born the third son of Thomas Lee and Rena Harwood Funderburk in Matthews, on June 20, 1921. He was a valedictorian graduate of Matthews High School. He attended Brevard Junior College where he met his wife of 73 years, Marian Louise Callis. He was a veteran of the US Army and served during World War II, honorably discharged in November 1945.

He was called into the ministry to the Methodist Church in 1949 and began his service at Grace Chapel near Granite Falls, and studied during this time to graduate salutatorian of Lenoir Rhyne College in 1951. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. in 1953. He was admitted on trial into the Western N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1951, into full connection in 1953, ordained as a Deacon in 1953, and as an Elder in 1954. His Methodist church appointments included Grace Chapel near Claremont, Shiloh near Catawba, Triplett near Mooresville, Mount Olivet and Centenary near Lexington, Center in Welcome, Bethlehem in Advance, and Oak Grove in Mocksville. After 42 years of touching lives across western NC, he retired in 1986 but continued serving as a local pastor till 1991. He continued to spread the gospel and fulfill his driven call to support those less fortunate.  He began crafting dulcimers and spreading joy through music. He was a farmer throughout his life having learned the skills in Robbinsville, from his grandparents and taught in a Veterans’ Farm Program after the war. With help from his nephew, Jim Funderburk, he embraced new methods of spreading the gospel at and in a booklet of sermons. He was a member of Ardmore Community Club recently receiving the 2015 Man of the Year award. He was a reader and poet, with a photographic memory that cultivated a vast knowledge of poems, scripture, hymns and corny jokes.

Rev. Funderburk was preceded in death by: his parents; 3 brothers; and a son, Frank, in 2001 in Houston, Texas after serving as a major in the Green Berets in Vietnam.

Survivors: his wife, Marian; his daughter, Rena Funderburk Meredith and son-in-law Doug Meredith of Midway, and daughter-in-law Rumi Funderburk Day of Houston; 6 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, Shelley and Mark McNeill, Julie and Paul Midkiff (Andrew, Grady), Brad and Sally Meredith (Reece, Connor, Audrey), Charles and April Funderburk (Karson, Kaleb, Kohen), Lee and Laura Funderburk (Kaylie, Ellie), and Tina and Michael Le (Hayden, Ryan).

Memorials: local missions like the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, Crisis Control Ministry, Second Harvest Food Bank or Salvation Army.