By Roger Pugh
She became a member of the illustrious group during the Piedmont Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet festivities. The Hall of Fame was started by the Chamber in 1990, and inductees are now selected by the previous inductees. At least one person has been named to the Hall each year, except in 1995, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
“I first met her a number of years ago at our mutual friend’s home. We both moved here from other states and belonged to a religious denomination that the women didn’t wear makeup or wear what was considered superfluous adornment. Her homemade clothes were something to be admired,” said 2002 Hall of Fame inductee Lois Dickerson as she announced Funk’s selection Saturday.
Dickerson said it has always been apparent that Funk had a love for Piedmont.
“Her foresight, expertise, talent community service and personal commitment were always directed to making Piedmont a better place to live,” Dickerson told the audience of some 200 banquet attendees.
In listing Funk’s achievements, Dickerson noted that Funk started Piedmont’s first day care center at the Baptist Church, where she also served as bookkeeper for many years. She was also an owner and manager at the start of the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette, and served as co-chair when the Miss Piedmont and Miss Junior Piedmont Pageants were first launched.
The newest member of the Hall of Fame was also part of a group which included then Mayor George Fina and then Chamber President Jay Stout which launched the “Winds of Progress” theme for Piedmont which is still in use today. Several years ago, Zeta Rho named her Woman of the Year.
In her introduction, Dickerson also cited Funk’s instrumental role in establishing the Historical Society Museum and the Piedmont Library.
Funk is an accomplished businesswoman.
Dickerson said Funk was instrumental in the formation of Express Personnel Service and Oklahoma Temporary Service. She is currently an owner of Express Employment Professionals, and is founder and owner of Arden and Associates in Piedmont, a wholesale manufacturer of decorative and fine art, which Dickerson noted brings international fame to the community.
Also in her professional background are stints managing a gift shop, serving as a bookkeeper/accountant for an oil company and customer service in the banking field.
Funk’s affiliations include the Professional Picture Framers Association, the American Society of Interior Designers, the International Interior Design Association, member of the Color Design Group, and the Executive Women in Hospitality.
The Women in Communications Organization has recognized her with the Byliner Award for Business. She is a member of the Journal Record’s Woman of the Year Circle of Excellence, and the Women’s Business Center has awarded her the Vis A Tergo Award.
Funk serves as a Trustee to the Piedmont Public Library, a Board member of Allied Arts of Oklahoma City, and she was Honorary Chairperson for the 2001 American Heart Walk.
Dickerson said the villages of South Africa have captured Funk’s heart and passion.
She said the 2013 honoree has made numerous trips to South Africa and has supplied resources for clean water wells to become operational and also helped bring electricity to village schools.
Dickerson said Funk has helped numbers of her nieces, nephews and friends receive their college education and employment.
However, Dickerson said that above all, Funk considers raising her children Julie Bridges and Robert A. Funk, Jr. to be her greatest success. She noted that Funk also has three grandchildren.