Funk, Annie C. (1874-1912)

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Annie C. Funk, postcard issued after her death, ca. 1915. Source: [ Mennonite Library and Archives,] Photo 2006-0206

Annie Funk perished with 1,517 other people when the "unsinkable" ocean liner, Titanic, sank on the night of 15 April 1912. A General Conference Mennonite woman who went to Janjgir, India, in 1906 at the age of 32, Annie Funk was born on 12 April 1874. She was the daughter of James B. and Susanna Clemmer Funk, and grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania in the beautiful Butter Valley, about three miles (5 km) from the Hereford Mennonite Church, located at Bally in Berks County.

She received her training at the West Chester State Normal School and at the Northfield [Mass.] Training School founded by D. L. Moody. Before going to India in November 1906, she had served among the blacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and with the Young Women's Christian Association at Paterson, New Jersey.

Her faith was symbolized by a reply she made to a concerned friend who reminded her of the dangerous ocean voyage in 1906: "Our heavenly Father is as near to us on sea as on land. My trust is in Him. I have no fear."

She was a dedicated and beloved worker in India. The girls' school at Janjgir, which she founded in 1908, was later named the Annie C. Funk Memorial School.

In 1912 she was called home to Pennsylvania because of the illness of her mother. In England she unexpectedly secured passage on the Titanic because a coal strike had delayed the S.S. Haverford on which she was booked.

When the Titanic struck an iceburg in the North Atlantic and began to sink, there were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all of the passengers. Annie, according to a confirmed report, unselfishly relinquished her place in a lifeboat to a mother with children. When Annie's friends back in Pennsylvania heard of this incident they said, "It was just like Annie to do something like that."


Handbook of Information, General Conference Mennonite Church. Newton, KS. (1913): 17-21.

Juhnke, James C. A People of Mission: A History of General Conference Mennonite Overseas Missions. Newton, KS: Faith and Life, 1979: 229, index.

Mennonite (18 April-13 June 1912).

Mennonite Life 12 (January 1957): 44-46.

Mennonite Weekly Review (26 December 1985): 6.

Ruth, John. Maintaining the right fellowship: a narrative account of life in the oldest Mennonite community in North America. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1984: 412-414.

Author(s) Russell R Krabill
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krabill, Russell R. "Funk, Annie C. (1874-1912)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 15 Jan 2021.,_Annie_C._(1874-1912)&oldid=133288.

APA style

Krabill, Russell R. (1989). Funk, Annie C. (1874-1912). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 January 2021, from,_Annie_C._(1874-1912)&oldid=133288.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 891. All rights reserved.

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