Annie Funk

Last updated
Annie Clemmer Funk
Born12 April 1874 (1874-04-12)
Bally, Pennsylvania
Died15 April 1912 (1912-04-16) (aged 38)
Nationality American
Occupation Missionary

Annie Clemmer Funk (12 April 1874 15 April 1912) was an American Christian missionary and one of the more than 1500 people who perished in the sinking of RMS Titanic. [1] Since 1906, she had been a missionary in the Janjgir-Champa district in Chhattisgarh, India. [2] She was on her way to visit her ailing mother.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Christians people who adhere to Christianity

Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).

RMS <i>Titanic</i> British transatlantic passenger liner, launched and foundered in 1912

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, making it one of modern history's deadliest commercial marine disasters during peacetime. RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time she entered service and was the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line. She was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, chief naval architect of the shipyard at the time, died in the disaster.


Early life

Annie Funk was born on 12 April 1874 in the small town of Bally, Pennsylvania. Her ancestors, who settled there in the 1700s, were Mennonite emigrants from Germany. Miss Funk attended the State Normal School at West Chester.

Bally, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Bally is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,090 at the 2010 census.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

West Chester, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

West Chester, is a borough and the county seat of Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 18,461 at the 2010 census.

Her home congregation, the Hereford General Conference Mennonite Church, where her father was a deacon for 25 years, nurtured her interest in missions from childhood. She attended the Northfield Bible Training School in Northfield, Massachusetts that D. L. Moody had begun. After graduation, she worked with the immigrants in the slums of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Paterson, New Jersey. She dreamt of being a missionary. [3]

Northfield, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Northfield is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. Northfield was first settled in 1673. The population was 3,032 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Connecticut River runs through the town, dividing West Northfield from East Northfield and the village of Northfield, where the town hall is located.

Tennessee State of the United States of America

Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.

Paterson, New Jersey City in New Jersey, United States

Paterson is the largest city in and the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199, making it New Jersey's third-most-populous city. Paterson has the second-highest density of any U.S. city with over 100,000 people, behind only New York City. For 2017, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 148,678, an increase of 1.7% from the 2010 enumeration, making the city the 174th-most-populous in the nation.

Missionary to India

After the stateside assignments, she volunteered to go overseas. She had unqualified trust in God. Once she stated to a friend who feared for her safety on the first transatlantic voyage that, "Our heavenly Father is as near to us on sea as on land. My trust is in Him. I have no fear." [4] Thus, her dream of being a missionary was realized in December 1906, when she was sent to India as the first female Mennonite missionary.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Annie arrived in India and served in Janjgir-Champa district, in Chhattisgarh. In 1908, she opened a one-room school and hostel for poor girls. The school initially taught 17 students. She also learnt Hindi during her stay. The school was later renamed the Annie C Funk Memorial School. Only the outer walls survive today, with a small plaque which describes her brief life and her death. [2]

Chhattisgarh Central-east state in India

Chhattisgarh is one of the 29 states of India, located in the centre-east of the country. It is the tenth-largest state in India, with an area of 135,191 km2 (52,198 sq mi). With a 2011 population of 25.5 million, Chhattisgarh is the 16th-most populated state in the country. A resource-rich state, it is a source of electricity and steel for the country, accounting for 15% of the total steel produced. Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest-developing states in India.

Hindi language in India

Hindi, or Modern Standard Hindi is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is one of the official languages of India, along with the English language. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India. However, it is not the national language of India because no language was given such a status in the Indian constitution.


Funk's work was interrupted by a telegram which read, "Come home at once. Mother very ill. Have purchased on two ships, Pater Shelly." Though she was not told that her mother was close to death, Annie made her travel plans quickly. After a long journey to Liverpool, she learned that the ship that would take her to America would be delayed by a coal strike. She changed her booking to RMS Titanic which, though it cost more, would get her home in record time. She bought her second class ticket for £13.

Liverpool City and Metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

Titanic left Southampton on April 10, 1912. When on the fourth day of the voyage the ship struck an iceberg, Funk lost her life after (an unconfirmed story holds) giving up her lifeboat seat to a mother and a child. [2] [3] [4] Her body, if recovered, was never identified.

Annie Funk's memorial grave stone erected near Bally, Pennsylvania Annie Funk Grave Stone.jpg
Annie Funk's memorial grave stone erected near Bally, Pennsylvania

A memorial at the Hereford Mennonite Church Cemetery, Pennsylvania recites: [3]



A documentary titled Remembering Annie Funk was scheduled to be screened[ when? ] in her home state, Pennsylvania, according to Mennonite Heritage Centre website. [2]

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  1. "Titanic Second Class Passenger – FUNK, Miss Annie Clemmer". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Chhatisgarh town's 'Titanic' connection". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 "Miss Annie Clemmer Funk". encyclopedia titanica. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  4. 1 2 "When you see Titanic ...remember Annie Funk". Mennonite Church USA. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 17 April 2012.