Avery Thompson Funkhouser, 74, of West Falmouth, Mass., and Boca Grande died on June 9, 2013 at the JML Care Center due to complications from lung cancer.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Avery was the daughter of David and Ruth Mitchell Thompson of Buffalo. She attended the Buffalo Seminary, graduated from Miss Hall's School, and received a bachelor's degree from Wheelock College where she sang in the Wheelock Glee Club.
She was married to Dr. John J. Funkhouser in Woods Hole in June of 1963 and died 13 days short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Avery taught elementary school at St. Luke's School in New York City and in St. Louis, Mo. For decades she was very active in fundraising for non-profit organizations, including WGBH's Channel 2 Auction, Jordan Hospital, Falmouth Hospital, West Falmouth Library, Heritage Museums and Gardens, Highfield Theatre, and the Cape Cod Symphony and Conservatory of Music and Arts. She was president of the West Falmouth Library from 1980 to 1998. In 1998 she was the leader of the drive to buy the property next to the library to save it from development, and that parcel has now become a treasured garden and outdoor function space. Avery also banded together with several mothers of runners in the 1980's to form the "Hardcore Mothers," a group which founded Falmouth's Main Street Mile, an annual race in the fall open to runners of all ages.
In 1997 she was given a special achievement award by the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce for her work in the Falmouth Community as a whole. In 2011 she was given a special achievement award by the Cape Cod Symphony and Conservatory of Music and Arts for her work as a trustee and her chairmanship of the Highfield Theatre Restoration Project. Her passion to preserve the Highfield Theatre came from her enjoyment of the College Light Opera Company, Falmouth Theatre Guild, and Broadway performances she attended over the years.
Avery loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to England and Russia and on river cruises in Europe after John retired, some with other couples and some with the Yale Alumni Chorus. For over thirty years sheenjoyed winter months in Sanibel and Boca Grande. Her first stay in Boca Grande was at the Gasparilla Inn. She was a member of the Boca Grande Club for 30 years and in recent years stayed at Boca Grande North.
In addition to her husband, John, and her children, Christopher, Stewart, and Margaret, she is also survived by her sister Jean Bartolomei. She was preceded in death by her brother, David Allen Thompson III.
A memorial service will be held at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Highfield Theatre Restoration Project c/o CCSCMA, 1060 Falmouth Road, Hyannis, MA 02601 or the West Falmouth Library, PO Box 1209, West Falmouth, MA 02574.
For online guestbook and information, visit ccgfuneralhome.com.
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