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TITANIC BIOGRAPHIES - SEPTEMBER
 

Mennonite Mission to India
Titanic passenger Annie Funk Story

  Titanic Passenger Annie Funk
   

At the turn of the last century most of the things we take for granted now, were just beginning to change the way people lived their lives.  Electric lights, automobiles, airplanes, cameras, wireless transmission, telephones, motion pictures were all new. It was an exciting time, but a troubling one, too, for a Christian based faith group in the small town of Bally, Pennsylvania. They were Mennonites, descendants of German  emigrants.  Throughout their history they have been a rural people, traditionally farmers who believed in simple living and in using the Bible as their guide.

This was the world Annie Funk was born into in 1874.  It was a world she embraced and loved.  So much so, that from early childhood she felt her calling was to spread God’s word throughout the country and beyond.  Upon graduating from Bible Training School, she worked with struggling immigrants in Tennessee.  In December 1906, her dream of becoming a missionary was realized when she was sent to India as the first female Mennonite missionary.

When a friend expressed fear for her safety on the ocean voyage she said, “Our heavenly Father is as near to us on sea as on land.  My trust is in Him.”  I have no fear.” In five years her trust would be tested as never before.

Arriving in India, Annie was filled with an exuberant sense of purpose and quickly laid the groundwork for creating a school and hostel for poor girls. She was deeply troubled  by the lack of educational opportunities for girls and was determined to help enlighten the community she served. In time, hard work and determination opened hearts and doors to acceptance and understanding.

Annie hadn’t left her post in five years, but when told her Mother was seriously ill she immediately packed her bags and set-off on the long journey home.  On her 38th birthday she boarded Titanic in Southampton, England, not knowing she had only 5 more days to live.  It could have been longer, she could have survived the sinking but in a final act of  courage and sacrifice, she got out of a  lifeboat  to give her seat to a young mother and baby.  Annie’s body was never identified.

Annie Funk will never be forgotten, her memory and charitable spirit lives on at the Titanic Museum Attraction.

 
1
1st Class Passenger
Edith Wearne Pears
Born 1889
2
1st Class Passenger
Florence Cumings Swain
Died 1949
3
3rd Class Passenger
Beatrice Irene Sandstrom
Died 1995
4
Assistant Steward
George Edward Roberton
Born 1892
5
1st Class Passengers
Maximilian Josef Frolicher &
Margaretha Emerentia Stehli Married 1895
6
3rd Class Passenger
Elizabeth Dowdell
Born 1880
7
Butcher
Christopher Mills
Born 1860
8
1st Class Passenger
Samuel Levi Goldenberg
Born 1864
9
3rd Class Passenger
Bertha Moran
Born 1883
10
3rd Class Passenger
Bertha Elizabeth Mulvihill
Born 1886
11
Saloon Steward
Harry John Stroud
Born 1876
12
3rd Class Passenger
Patrick Canavan
Born 1890
13
3rd Class Passenger
Catherine Murphy
Born 1893
14
Fireman/Stoker
John Alexander Podesta
Born 1887
15
3rd Class Passenger
Theodoor DeMulder
Born 1881
16
Quartermaster
Robert Hichens
Born 1882
17
3rd Class Passenger
Manca Karun Juvan
Died 1971
18
3rd Class Passenger
William Henry Saundercock
Born 1892
19
Irish 3rd Class passenger
Mary Bourke
Born 1871
20
1st Class Passenger
John Borland “Jack” Thayer
Died 1945
21
1st Class Passenger
Edith Corse Evans
Born 1875
22
1st Class Passenger
Ida Sophia Hippach
Born 1940
23
Trimmer
Eustace Philip Snow
Born 1890
24
3rd Class Passenger
Margaret Jane Murphy
Born 1886
25
1st Class Passenger
Alfred Fernand Omont
Born 1882
26
1st Class Passenger
Major Archibald Willingham Butt
Born 1865
27
2nd Class Passenger
Ralph Lester Wells
Died 1972
28
1st Class Maid
Victorine Chaudanson
Born 1875
29
3rd Class Passenger
Hannah Riordan Spollen
Died 1982
30
2nd Class Passenger
Bertha Ilett
Christensen
Died 1976
       

 
 
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