Leokadia (Leah) Rita Funke (nee Raj) passed away peacefully at the Chinook Care Centre on the evening of Thursday, May 26th, 2022, with family at her side.
Leah was born March 17, 1941, in Tymienica, Poland, and experienced a tumultuous young life in post-WWII Europe. She and her family were able to take one of the biggest adventures of their respective lives by emigrating to Canada in May 1950, arriving by boat in Halifax, and eventually moving to Calgary in 1956. She was proud to become a Canadian citizen in 1961 and married George H. Funke on June 6, 1964 (pre-deceased Dec 2008). Leah and George focused a large part of their lives raising their two children James Funke (Susan) and Celeste Dods (Vince) and in their later years thoroughly enjoyed any time that they could spend with their four adored grandchildren, Megan, Amy, Logan, and Taylor.
Leah was a fighter and battled her entire adult life with her chronic health issues, living a life that was continuously challenged. Her extensive Crohn’s disease required life-sustaining measures of parenteral nutrition (PN) which she administered daily for 43 years. She created history by being one of the longest-living PN patients in North America. We all came to know and respect Leah’s internal strength and willpower. Although every day of her life was complicated by her health conditions, she would not be defined by her complex health history. Instead, she always focused on her family and friends, which she loved to bring together for long chats and many laughs.
Leah is survived by siblings, Joe Raj, Alice Foote (Bob), and Henry Rye (Cindy). Leah was predeceased by her parents Stanley and Gladys Raj, sister Kazimiera, and niece Joanne Palmer.
We would like to extend our tremendous gratitude and appreciation for all the numerous Health Professionals and Community, who not only assisted her but became friends with Leah over the years, including the Home Parenteral therapy program and AHS home care services. Special mention to her GP, Dr. R Place, and the entire Wellness team at the Garrison Manor.
At Leah’s request, a private graveside service is planned for immediate family.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada in memory of Leah.
Crohns and Colitis Canada – Calgary Chapter
600-60 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto ON M4T 1N5