Bill Funk

Bill Funk passed away surrounded by love on July 12, 2019, following a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer. His beloved wife, Marilyn Zuckerman, passed away last August and Bill just couldn’t live without her.

Bill was born Wilton E. Funk, Jr. to Wilton E. Funk, Sr. and Rita Funk on July 30, 1944 in Glendale, California. Bill’s family moved to South Lake Tahoe when he was 15 years old. The Tahoe area proved to be a wonderful place for Bill as he met several lifelong friends at South Lake Tahoe High School, including Greg and Linda Rose, Terry and Nancy Ressler, and Bill and Margaret Azevedo.

Friends and family called them the “Car Guys,” as they were always racing cars and motorcycles, rebuilding and selling vehicles. Bill left behind a 1964 Plymouth Valliant Wagon, a 1970 Plymouth Duster, and 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120, along with various daily drivers and motorcycles.

After graduating from high school in 1962, Bill served four years in the Air Force and met his first wife, Patty Wallace, while stationed at the Hawthorne Ammunition Depot in Nevada. They married in 1965 and welcomed son, Vince, in 1966, and daughter, Ronelle, in 1969.

After military service, Bill worked as an Oakland, California firefighter for five years. Bill and Patty moved to Carson City, Nevada, in 1973 where Bill served as Battalion Chief in the Carson City Fire Department for 15 years. The family enjoyed living in Nevada since recreation and family were nearby. In 1979, Bill and Patty divorced. In 1980, Bill married Suzi (Surface) Crickmore. They moved to Olympia, Washington in 1982 and divorced in 1986.

Bill loved Olympia, and his two adult children shared his love for the area and moved to Olympia in the late 1980s. After retiring from the fire service and earning his bachelor’s degree from City University, Bill started working as an insurance agent in the Allstate booth in the Sears store in Lacey, Washington. This is where he met the love of his life, Marilyn Zuckerman.

Bill and Marilyn worked together, became friends and fell in love. They married in 1990 in the former rose garden on the State Capitol grounds. When Bill wed Marilyn, he gained two wonderful stepchildren, Jason Salcedo and Sara (Salcedo) Stien. Marilyn loved Bill’s children, Vince and Ronelle, and quickly became a loving grandmother to Vince’s daughter, Renee (Funk) Houlbjerg.

Bill and Marilyn ran successful Allstate agencies together in Lacey, Washington, and travelled extensively for the last 30 years of their lives.

Bill was best known as the “dad to everyone.” If your battery was dead, and you needed a jumpstart, he was your guy. He loved helping others and was always washing other people’s cars, lending an employee a car, helping a young driver buy an affordable vehicle, or just picking up something you needed from Costco.

Bill had a magnificent sense of humor and loved fun adventures. As a young father, he took his kids on spontaneous waterslide tours in California with no hotel reservations lined up. His young family camped at Lake Tahoe and rode motorcycles in the dry lakebeds in the desert. An adventurer to the end, in the last six months of his life, Bill took many of his 17 family members (kids, grandkids and great-grandkids) on “Mr. Bill’s Farewell Tour,” which included hiking in Red Rocks (Nevada), a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, the Cirque du Soleil “Beatles” show in Las Vegas, racing rented “slingshot” cars, a tour of the Fremont Tesla Factory, and a float plane ride to the San Juan Islands.

Bill and Marilyn’s motto was, “We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.” It was a life lived to the fullest with no regrets.

Bill is survived by his sister, Janice Murphy (husband, Ed) of South Lake Tahoe; son, Vince Funk (wife, Debbie), and daughter, Ronelle Funk of Olympia; stepson, Jason Salcedo (wife, Katherine); stepdaughter, Sara Salcedo Stien (husband, Tim) of Seattle; granddaughter, Renee Funk Houlbjerg (husband, Broc) of Ellensburg; grandsons, Casey Kaplowitz, Alex Kaplowitz, Leo Stien, Eli Stien, Hanno Salcedo; great-granddaughter, McKenzie Houlbjerg; and great-grandson, Reid Houlbjerg. He was loved by nieces, nephews, distant relatives, friends and loyal employees. He will be sorely missed.

“And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – The Beatles

A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 The Mark Restaurant, 407 Columbia Street SW, Olympia, WA 98501.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice or to a cause close to Bill’s heart, Friendly Water for the World, a local 501(c)(3) charity that educates citizens in impoverished countries to create safe drinking water for their families and their communities. Donate online at or by mail (check payable to Friendly Water) to 1421 W. Bay Dr. NW, Olympia, WA 98502, 360-214-3145.

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