James Funmaker
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James Naxíxųnųnįka Hąhĕ́mąnįga Funmaker (1904 - 2004)

James Naxíxųnųnįka Hąhĕ́mąnįga "Jim" Funmaker aka Night Walker
Born in near Arcadia, Trempealeau, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 1933 in Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Died in Black River Falls, Jackson, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 24 Dec 2019
This page has been accessed 126 times.
James Funmaker was a Native American and member of the Ho-Chunk tribe.

Contents

Biography

Birth

James was born about 1906, according to the 1910 census; but according to his grave stone, it was 1904 (Find a Grave); but according to an obituary, "Jim was born on Nov. 26, 1903, near Arcadia, Wis., to George Sr. and Dolly (Thunderchief) Funmaker. While he was a youngster, the Funmaker family lived on the George Funmaker homestead near Black River Falls and spent the fall and spring camped near Arcadia where they trapped on the Trempealeau and Mississippi rivers." (LaCrosse Tribune) Tom Jones, his grandson, confirms the 1904 date. (van Schaick, 27)

Name

Naxíxųnųnįka is a birth order name for the fifth son. Hąhĕ́mąnįga is a Bear Clan name meaning "Night Walker," a reference to the nocturnal habits of bears. Hąhĕ́maniga is from hąhĕ́, "night"; mąnį́, "to walk"; and -ga, a definite article suffix used in personal names. "Jim attended Cortland School near Arcadia, the Komensky School, the Tomah Indian School, and the Wittenburg Indian School." (LaCrosse Tribune)

Occupation

"Jim had been employed at the Badger Ordinance Works at Baraboo. He was mainly employed, however, as a finish cement and stone mason and was a life member of Local 127. Following his retirement from being a mason, he was employed for several years at the Amundson Cranberry Marsh." (LaCrosse Tribune)

Hobbies

"Jim was an avid sportsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trapping."

Family

"He married the former Nancy Davis in 1933 and she died at the age of 57. To this union were born seven children, Walter W. (Gail) Funmaker of Hatfield, Annarae Funmaker of Black River Falls, Prudence (deceased), JoAnn (Thomas) Jones of Baraboo, Bonnie (Sheldon) Hanson of Augusta, and Joyce (John) Warner of Madison, and Prudence (deceased).

He and Ruth Greyhair later became longtime companions. To this union were born 11 children, Eliza (Cleland Goodbear) Green of Tomah, Gilbert (deceased), James Funmaker Jr. of Black River Falls, Kyle Funmaker of La Crosse, Sybil (Allen) GreyOwl of Tomah, Ethel (Paul Konenig) Funmaker of La Crosse, Daniel Funmaker of Black River Falls, Eloise (Reynaldo Avila) Funmaker of Minneapolis, Kent Funmaker of Shakopee, Brent Funmaker of Black River Falls, and Myron Funmaker of Black River Falls.

In addition to the above mentioned, Jim is survived by his long-time companion, Ruth Greyhair of Black River Falls; 53 grandchildren; 51 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; Ho-Chunk "sons," Kenneth Sr., Dennis, Wayne, Wilfred, Carlos, Ervin, Lorenzo, Milton, Max, Mahlon, John, Maynard, and Conrad Funmaker; good friends, John Hiemlich, Mike O'Donahue, William Hall, the Jerry Smith family, Michael Anderson, Richard Sarazen, Ralph Yellowthunder, and Charles Buswell; and many, many other relatives and friends, too numerous to mention.

In addition to his wife, Nancy, two daughters (both named Prudence) and infant son, Gilbert, Jim was preceded in death by two grandsons, Forest and Ferlin Waters; a great-grandson; a sister, Emma Lowe; and six brothers, Edward, Harry, Andrew, George Jr., Harold Jones, and Daniel Funmaker." (LaCrosse Tribune)

Anecdotes

Tom Jones recalls, "When my grandfather was ninety-eight years old [2002], my mother asked him who his friends were when he was young. His reply was, 'I didn't have any friends.' Because our elders are constantly joking I thought he was too, so I laughed. He paused and then continued to say that his father, George Funmaker Sr. kept his family and children away from others during times of sickness. Tuberculosis and influenza were going around at this time. It was a few years before my grandfather's birth in 1904 that smallpox was brought into the tribe again. These diseases killed many people within the tribe ..." (van Schaick, 23-24)

Death

He died in 2004 (aged 99–100), and was buried in Decorah Cemetery, Black River Falls, Jackson County, Wisconsin, USA. (Find a Grave)

Sources



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Categories: Ho-Chunk