Friends of Wallie Funk are invited to join him and his family for a celebration of his 90th birthday from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Depot, 611 R Ave.
The event, presented by the Anacortes Arts Festival, the city of Anacortes, Skagit Valley College, the Anacortes Arts Commission, the Anacortes Museum and other friends of the honoree, includes birthday cake and coffee. A media presentation on Funk’s life and musicians Carl Funk and Larry Mason will be among the highlights on Sunday.
Images from Funk’s photo exhibition “1/250th of a Second” will be on display at the Depot on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. and during his birthday celebration Sunday.
Funk and business partner John Webber purchased the Anacortes American in 1950. One of his first acts as co-publisher was to print a front-page plea advocating the preservation of Anacortes’ photographic history. His readers brought their old photos to the American, where staff members copied them. These images became the foundation of an effort to create a museum in Anacortes, one of many organizations that Funk devoted himself to on Fidalgo Island.
In the two decades since he moved back to Anacortes, Funk has continued to advocate for his home and extended communities. Between 2001 and 2004, he devoted himself to organizing his massive photo collection, which he then donated to four different repositories, among them the Anacortes Museum.
Funk’s photos tell many stories stretching from views of his hometown, to politicians in Washington, D. C., from the capture of orca whales off Whidbey Island in 1970, to rural China where Funk and wife Mary Ann traveled with the Washington State Trade Delegation in 1980, shortly after that nation opened its doors to foreigners.
Funk has been honored with numerous awards for his contributions to journalism, the arts, and historic preservation. On April 29 his nine decades of life and civic involvement will be celebrated in a place he helped save from demolition many years ago: the Anacortes Depot.
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