Honoring a Champion for Progress

Dec 14, 2023

A former Board Member and Emeritus Director of our Professional Advisors Council, William Michael “Mike” Funck’s service and generosity continue to shape the future of Fairfield County.

Some people have the rare gift of leaving lasting impressions wherever they go.

Mike Funck, who passed away in April 2023, was a community servant who had enduring influence — and his imprint on Fairfield County will be felt for years to come. As Chair of the Board of Directors at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and later Emeritus Director for its Professional Advisors Council, Mike was a leader who was passionate about connecting donors to our mission.

“He loved the Foundation and believed in our work,” said Juanita James, who retired as the Community Foundation’s President and CEO in 2022. “He was a wonderful ambassador.”

“Mike possessed many professional skills,” added his friend and fellow Foundation board member, Michael Harris. “But it was his knowledge, understanding and ability to move things forward that made him the best person to do this mission-focused work.”

Mike had a successful career, rising from the trust department of Chemical Bank to become President and CEO of U.S. Trust of Connecticut. But his service, to the country and to others, is his outstanding legacy.

After graduating from Georgetown University in 1965, Mike volunteered to do service projects with Operation Crossroads Africa. He then earned a degree from Fordham Law School and served in the U.S. Army for two years, receiving the Bronze Star while stationed in Vietnam. Returning to civilian life, he served on the boards of the World Affairs Forum, Bruce Museum, Stamford Center for the Arts, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He was also a strong supporter of Pacific House, a shelter for people experiencing homelessness in Stamford.

Married for 55 years to his wife, Ellen, the couple raised three daughters and became grandparents to nine grandchildren. And as a member of the Community Foundation’s Future Society — a visionary group that fuels grantmaking in perpetuity through planned gifts like bequests — Mike leaves a legacy of generosity that his grandchildren will continue to see at work in Fairfield County throughout their lives.

“Mike was a gentle and kind person who really believed in the organizations he supported,” said Ellen. “It’s a joy to know his generosity will keep making a difference for generations to come.”

To learn more about becoming a member of the Future Society, contact Sara DeRose, Director, Philanthropic Advisor at sderose@fccfoundation.org.

Join a group of visionary philanthropists: FCCFoundation.org/Future