Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania’ Category

Lance Funston (’67)

Lance Funston, entrepreneur and philanthropist passes at 80. On July 5th, 2023. Lance Thomas Funston of Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, and Villefranche-sur-Mer, France passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving wife, Christina and his six children. A successful entrepreneur, media mogul, avid golfer, Olympian, poker enthusiast and artist. Lance was a true renaissance man–his plethora of diverse interests, achievements and zest for life often granting him the title, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” Lance was born in 1942 in Kansas City, Missouri. He was raised by his devoted parents Ida Paschall Hill and Harold Mitchell Funston. Lance graduated in 1961 from Milby High School in Houston, Texas. Lance received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston in 1967, where he would later sit on the Board of Visitors. In 2009, Lance made a gift to his alma mater that allowed for the construction of the Lance T. Funston Communication Center, a state-of-the-art production studio within the Valenti School of Communication. In 1967, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Lance assistant to the director of the FDIC and subsequently as special assistant to a governor of the Federal Reserve Board. In 1968, Lance moved to Boston to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School which he received in 1970. It soon became clear that Lance possessed an untamable entrepreneurial spirit. In the midst of confronting the rigors of Harvard academics, he formed Portfolio Management Systems, which developed management systems for major financial institutions such as Fidelity Mutual and Bank of America. The company later created a private equity real-estate fund, which proved to be the start of a successful real-estate development career, marked by creativity and a unique vision. In 1986 Lance moved to Philadelphia and founded a merchant banking firm which specialized in leveraged buyouts. Of his most notable acquisitions was Larami Toys, where Lance was the marketing genius behind the remarkable Super Soaker. The 1990’s saw the addition of media to Lance’s already diverse repertoire. In 1993 he founded TelAmerica Media, a media aggregate representing over 90% of the cable television industry. Pursuing his dream of competing in sport at an elite level, Lance joined the American Samoan Bobsled team. He proudly served as a driver throughout the World Cup circuit and as first alternate at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. He also served on the board of the United States Bobsled Federation from 1992 to 1996. In 2000, Lance married Christina Husianycia of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and relocated to the suburbs to raise their two daughters. In 2007, the couple founded the Save A Mind Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers financial aid to youth in Philadelphia’s charter school system. Lance was dedicated to his passions–Bible study, golfing, car remodeling, acting, abstract painting, and professional poker, to name a few. In 2005 Lance, a complete rookie at the time, played in the World Series of Poker Main Event–nearly winning a major tournament live on ESPN. His love-affair with the game, combined with his passion for philanthropy, led him to establish Poker Players with a Heart, a foundation organizing tournaments in which all proceeds were donated. A true visionary, a problem solver, a “larger than life” individual who emanated charisma, wit, and compassion. Lance was an adventurer, a lover of nature and travel, and an adoring father and beloved grandfather. He wholeheartedly believed in others and instilled a sense of self-worth in every soul he touched. His unconditional love, affection, philanthropic spirit and by living life always to the fullest, he will be remembered by all for generations. Lance and Christina spent summers in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France where he experienced the utmost happiness and peace. Lance is survived by his wife, Christina and their daughters Zale and Quinn, his children, Lance “Will” (Kitty), Heather, Brent (Melissa), Blake (Rufus), five grandchildren, two brothers, nieces and nephews. Lance is preceded in death by his parents Ida and Harold, brother Christopher, aunt and uncle Evelyn and Jerry Jackson, and granddaughter, Luciana. A Memorial Service will take place in Narberth, PA in the Fall of 2023. Details to follow. In remembrance of Lance’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the following organizations: Narberth Presbyterian Church, 205 Grayling Avenue, Narberth, PA 19072 or Philadelphia Museum of Art, Attn.: Gift Processor, PO Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646 (Click Donate, choose Tribute and Memorial gifts in memory of Lance Funston).
Published by The Philadelphia Inquirer on Aug. 2, 2023.

Walter H. Reuter, III (’66)

Walter Henry Reuter III, 87, of Sewickley, passed away suddenly Friday, Dec. 24, 2021, with his loving wife of 45 years, Susie, by his side. Walt was born in Harrisburg, Pa., to Walter H. Reuter II and Roberta (Speller) Reuter, and raised in Tyler, Texas. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in architecture. After graduation, Walt followed in his father’s military footsteps and enlisted in the Air Force, serving in Vietnam, and ultimately attaining the rank of captain. Walt last saw his father when he was 10 years old. His father and three other men were reported missing in action on Oct. 14, 1944, after an intense battle at Raffelsbrand crossing, about five miles southeast of Aachen, Germany. Miraculously, Walt’s father’s dog tags were found 60 years later in the area where he went missing and were returned to Walt on May 18, 2010, which brought Walt a long-overdue sense of peace and closure. After completing his military service, Walt moved to Pittsburgh, which was his father’s hometown, to take a job at a reputable architecture firm. During his more than 60-year career, Walt worked at several firms in the area, including Tasso Katselas, Williams, Tribilcock and Whitehead and Michael Molnar, before working independently until his passing. Walt was an accomplished architect and drew inspiration from many of the greats, including Hugh Newell Jacobsen and Benno Janssen, but he was particularly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. He was such a scholar of Wright’s, studying the architect’s Falling Water project so intently that he knew more about the house and the architect than the tour guides at the famous tourist attraction. Walt maintained his pilot’s license for many years after his military service, regularly flying short trips to neighboring states. Over the years, he traveled across the country as a spectator of some of the largest air shows, with his favorite being the annual air show and gathering of aviation enthusiasts in Oshkosh, Wis. During these trips, Walt often sought out the local Frank Lloyd Wright projects and made it a point to visit, combining his loves of flying, architecture and travel. Walt and Susie met in Pittsburgh and married on July 18, 1976, at Chautauqua Lake in Southern New York. Walt was a thoughtful and loving husband and a committed stepfather to Tracey, Paige and Jimmy. He loved spending his summers patiently teaching the kids how to sail and the winters how to ski. Walt’s love for flying was rivaled only by his passion for sailing. Walt spent nearly every summer of his life sailing his C-scow on Lake Chautauqua, only recently retiring from the sport a few years ago. He was the commodore of the Chautauqua Yacht Club and was known as an extremely competitive and legendary sailor. He enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for sailing with his stepchildren and grandchildren. While in Chautauqua, Walt also enjoyed spending the evenings at the Amphitheater listening to live music, particularly performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Walt loved to play golf, ski, swim, spend time with his family and friends, and sing, often breaking out in a verse when the moment moved him. He never missed watching a Pittsburgh Steelers game, and frequently traveled to Latrobe in the summer to attend the team’s training camp. Walt’s bright smile and kind heart touched many over the years, but he had a special spot for his beloved pets, especially the family’s cocker spaniel, Lucky, and Simon, his loyal cat, with whom he had a special bond. Walt was preceded in death by his father, mother and sister, Robin Stanier. Just hours after Walt’s passing, his niece, Betsy Longoria, unexpectedly passed away. Walt is survived by his wife, Susie; his brother, David Reuter Sr. (Janie); stepchildren, Tracey Rock, Paige Fishel (Dave) and Jimmy Rock (Jessica); nieces, Cynthia Webb, Cris Longoria and Casey Leach (Charles); nephew, David Reuter Jr. (Charmaine); and grandchildren, Elizabeth Rock, Jonah Fishel (Sarah), Elijah Fishel and Tristan Fishel, Rachel Rock and Noah Rock. Walt would have welcomed his first great-grandchild in April 2022. A celebration of Walt’s life will be held in Sewickley in early February.
Published by Triblive Online Only on Dec. 31, 2021.

Morris J. Gordy (’50)

Morris Joseph Gordy, 91, passed away peacefully on September 13, 2020. A resident of Keystone Villa at Douglassville and formerly of East Norriton, Morris was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 55 years, Teresa, and his parents, Mary Ann and Morris Gordy. Born in Houston, TX, Morris graduated at age 20 with honors from The University of Houston with an architectural degree. He enlisted in the army and served in the Korean War, where he designed bridges in Europe. Upon returning from the war, he designed the family home in which he and his parents resided. Morris worked as a safety engineer with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, first in Chicago, then in Baltimore, where he met the love of his life at a mutual friend’s wedding. He and Teresa wed a year later, on his birthday. The couple purchased a home from Johnny Unitas, quarterback and football legend of Morris’ beloved Baltimore Colts. In 1969, the couple and their three daughters moved to Pennsylvania, where Morris continued his successful 40-year career with Liberty Mutual, retiring in 1992 as a Division Manager. For many years following retirement, Morris was a chief organizer of the annual reunion of his 432nd Army Battalion. Without the use of a computer, he tracked down over a thousand members and hand-wrote letters to them, gathering information and inviting them to this joyous event. He took pleasure in writing articles for the 432nd newsletter, providing tips for healthy living as a ‘senior.’ Survived by his daughters Diane (David) Agius of Telford, Linda (Bruce) Cartwright of Limerick, and Kathleen (Mark) Everett of Collegeville; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, everything Morris did in life was for the love of his family. He spent much of his retirement caring for grandchildren, aging parents, and his wife, providing love and support throughout her illness. Morris enjoyed gardening, football, woodworking, and traveling. He was known for his love of sweets and his rich holiday eggnog. But mostly, he will be missed for his southern charm, kindness, and fabulous smile. Mass of Christian Burial will occur Saturday, September 19, 11:00 a.m. at St. Teresa of Calcutta Church, Schwenksville, with visitation 9:00 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at St. Patrick Cemetery, Norristown. Memorial donations may be made to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation., Attn: CHOP Buddy Walk , P.O. Box 781352, Philadelphia, PA 19178; (Memo line: Team Steven C);

Jason M. Graham (’04)

Jason Graham, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics at University of Scranton, has received a grant to research “Pattern Formation and Decision Making in Slime Mold.” More…