Miss Annie Clemmer Funk

Annie Clemmer Funk

Miss Annie Clemmer Funk, 38, was born on 12 April 1874 in Bally, Pennsylvania. Her ancestors were Mennonite emigrants from Germany, who settled there in the late 1700s. Her father was deacon at the local Mennonite church for 25 years.

Miss Funk attended the State Normal School at West Chester, PA and in 1898-99 the Northfield Training School in Northfield, Mass, a girls school founded by the 19th Century Evangelist, Dwight L Moody. Miss Funk then worked under the Methodist Church among the African-American community in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for several years, before taking a staff position with the YWCA in Patterson, New Jersey, working with young women and the growing immigrant community. She had dreamed of being a missionary since her youth and as early as 1903 had indicated to the Mennonite Mission Board her availability. This was finally realized in November 1906 when she was sent to India as the first single female Mennonite missionary to be sent overseas.

It was Janjgir, where she should live and work for the next years. In July 1907 she opened a one-room school for girls, where she initially taught 17 girls. She got closer to the people by learning Hindi. In March 1912, a telegram encouraging her to depart immediately and return to Bally for an early furlough: "Come home at once. Mother very ill. Have purchased on two ships, Pastor Shelly."

She left Janjgir by train to Bombay, and boarded the Persia; the ship was bound for Plymouth but Annie disembarked at Marseille on 6 April probably to travel quicker by train and boat to England.   It is thought she was planning to sail to America on the Haverford from Liverpool but she changed to the Titanic for "a few more gold pieces", as she wrote. She bought her second class ticket number 237671 for £13.

Miss Funk boarded the Titanic at Southampton. She enjoyed the first days by celebrating her 38th birthday. In the night of the sinking, she was asleep in her cabin, was woken by the stewards, dressed and went on deck. She was about to enter a lifeboat, when a woman came from behind, pushing her aside by calling: "My children, My children". The last seat was gone, Annie had to step back. She died in the sinking. Her body, if recovered, was never identified.

In memory of Miss Funk, the school she had founded in Janjgir, India was named the "Annie C. Funk Memorial Girl's School." Sufficient memorial gifts were given by friends in America to enlarge the school and add a two story dormitory for boarding students.

A memorial is erected at the Hereford Mennonite Church Cemetery in Pennsylvania near the grave of her parents.


Annie Clemmer Funk

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2018) 
New York Times (1914) 
Paterson Morning Call (1912) 
Paterson Morning Call (1912) 
Paterson Morning Call (1912) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 
North American (1912) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 
Paterson Morning Call (1912) 
North American (1912) 

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Günter Bäbler, Switzerland
Pat Cook
Dr Robert W Gerhart
Hermann Söldner, Germany

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB-85-T715-Vol. 4183.
Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912.
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Annie Clemmer Funk Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #416, updated 13th January 2020 13:20:52 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/annie-clemmer-funk.html