Julia Morgan's original drawings for our Clubhouse, Courtesy of Cal Poly Archives

KEEP IT SIMPLE - Sandi Funk by Gini Griffin

February 16, 2016 1:06 PM | Linda Wilson (Administrator)

Sandi Funk, toddlerSandi Funk was born in Waupaca, Wisconsin, the oldest of three children. At age five the family moved to California. There was no room in the kindergarten classroom, so they put her in first grade, and thereafter through school, Sandi was the youngest and tallest in each class. In 1958 Sandi’s family settled in Los Osos, and in 1962 she was proud to be in the first graduating class at the brand new Morro Bay High School campus – and valedictorian! Sandi recalled some favorite pets from her youth, among them Tippy Tim, a black dog, Jamie the parakeet, and an assortment of unnamed stray cats.

Sandi attended Robert Long’s Business College in Santa Barbara. Her first job was at the San Luis Obispo County Schools office and later the Ford Foundation. She loved that job: her boss was gone a lot! Her three roommates were Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sandi was a Lutheran, but they all got along well and had a lot of fun. Sandi’s mother was a homemaker who also sold “fashion frocks” as a Beeline fashion representative. She remembers a catalog where sample fabrics were included. Later her mother worked at Cal Poly in Food Service. Her father was a welder and enjoyed restoring cars. Sandi treasures the memories of helping him to remove the tape from the chrome on cars after a repainting job. Sometimes he’d take a break, walk over to the upright piano in the corner of the garage, and play “The Third Man” theme song, Sandi’s favorite. He also was employed by the Atascadero Hospital as a technician, and enjoyed helping the patients. Tragically, while flying as a passenger in a 1934 antique bi-plane during Cal Poly’s 34th annual Poly Royal air show, her father was killed along with three others when the plane crashed. The airstrip was closed permanently shortly thereafter.

Sandi and Ron on their wedding day!In 1965 when Sandi was almost twenty, her boss was promoted and offered to take her along as his secretary to New York City. Ultimately he became head of the U.S. Department of Education. Sandi had just been introduced to Ron by her sister and she knew “he was the one.” She turned down the job and transfer opportunity, and she and Ron were married less than two months later. Ron was almost thirty, owned a coin shop and taught business at Morro Bay High School. Sandi has always been grateful to the late Dr. Edison French, who hired her as a secretary at the French Clinic.

Sandi and Ron have two children: Shelly and John. Shelly is now a USAF Lieutenant Colonel flying tankers. She is married with two children, Ryan, 8 and Shanna, 4. John attended the University of Oregon, majoring in Asian Studies. He teaches and does public relations for a private Buddhist high school in Japan. He is married to Marikka, who is Finnish. They have two children, Cole, 4 and Chelsea, 9.

Over the years Sandi and Ron have enjoyed attending many coin shows. Ron still has his coin shop begun in 1962. They often housed exchange students and developed many close and continuing friendships from these experiences. One student from Israel even returned for a visit on his honeymoon. Sandi shared fond memories volunteering at the Quintana Elementary School Carnival, now Bishop’s Peak School, and working in the school library with close friend Tammy Kelly.

In 1974 Florence Williamson sponsored Sandi for membership in The Monday Club. Over the years she has held several Board positions: Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, and Membership Chair. She always enjoyed helping with fundraisers and Club events. She has happy recollections of rehearsing and performing Hi Jinx shows, often directed by Dorothy Burkhardt.

Sandi said that she and Ron have been together so long (50 years last August) they have their own language just between them. At interview end, she offered: “Life is good and we try to keep it simple.”

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