Katherine, ‘Kathie,’ Funaro was born Feb. 9, 1929 in Boston, MA. She grew up on the Jersey shore in the small town of Point Pleasant, daughter of Gladys and Russell Mickle, sister of Robert Mickle. Although her family nickname was ‘sad news’ having been born during the depression, she had a happy childhood walking to school, coming home every day for the family meal, working as the lemonade girl on the boardwalk and dancing with her high school classmates. She was the belle of the ball from an early age. After graduating from Point Pleasant Beach High School, she attended Hackensack Nursing School where she met the love of her life, Enrico Carlo Funaro. This was the first adventurous risk she took since he was an Italian Jewish immigrant with a thick accent and she never looked back. They delivered babies together in the hospital and married only a few months later. They both finished their training at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City.
After helping ‘Rick’ start his Radiology practice in Morristown, NJ, she brought up three daughters: Rita, Lisa, and Gina. She instilled a strong sense of right and wrong in her girls and helped raise motivated, compassionate children. After Rick retired, she moved to Lincoln, MA in support of his dream to teach medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. After Rick’s death and 42 years of marriage, she moved back to her home town of Point Pleasant in 1994 to be near her brother, sister-in-law, and childhood friends.
Kathie bought her dream house on the Manasquan river and spent the next 29 years entertaining family and friends, including seven grandchildren and her new partner of 20 years, Emory Wheeler, who happened to be her kindergarten teacher’s son. Flowers were her passion and her house even made it on the local garden tour.
Kathie died peacefully at home at the age of 94 and is survived by her three daughters and their husbands, Rita Funaro and Gherson Inmacolato, Lisa Funaro and Michael DeLalla, Gina Funaro and Paul Miller, her step-daughter, Deanna Ronsani, six grandchildren, Joseph Ronsani, Lauren DeLalla, Erica Inmacolato, Michaela Miller, Nicki DeLalla, and Daniel Inmacolato, and her sister-in-law, Pauline Mickle. Services were under the direction of Van Hise & Callagan Funeral Home- 812 Arnold Ave. Point Pleasant, NJ 08742.