Howard Funk Webmaster, Katonah, NY

Howard L. Funk, Bill Fry's father-in-law and Rhoda Fry's dad, was the original webmaster of our website. He offered to build our website for 15 years, and finally at age 78, we took him up on the offer. Howard Funk became a web developer following a 40-year career at IBM with leadership roles in SID (Society for Information Display), IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing), and the Internet Society. I have included the original H. L. Funk Consulting website at the bottom of this page with links to the websites he created - his own page however, is quite modest.

If you would like us to post some thoughts about him, please send an email to:

Howard Funk Photos
Howard L. Funk Howard Funk
Howard Funk at his 80th birthday / 55th wedding anniversary party in 2010. His sister Barbara is telling funny stories about their youth. In high school, he had a radio repair business and built her a radio. His wife, Elisabeth Paling Funk, is on the right. Howard L.Funk with grandson Justin Fry at age 5 patiently playing chess in 2008

Contents of Tribute to Howard L. Funk Contents:

Howard Funk Obituary - NY Times

Howard Funk Obituary - Lewisboro Ledger

Howard Funk Comments - emailed to me for this site

What daughter Rhoda Fry had to say at the services for Howard L. Funk, Katonah, NY


Kudos from Al Gore

Army Commendation from Colonel Hayman

Howard Funk Website

Howard Funk Obituary - NY Times

HOWARD L. FUNK FUNK--Howard L., 81, died October 25, 2011, beloved husband of Elisabeth (Paling), father of Helene (the late Bruce Braverman) and Rhoda Fry (William), brother of Barbara Lindeman (Philip), and grandfather of Derek Willem Braverman and Justin William Fry. A graduate of Washington University with a BS in Electrical Engineering, Howard had a 40-year career with IBM in the US and abroad, which brought him numerous awards and citations from professional societies and the corporation, including an outstanding contribution award for his proposal to open IBM's access to the Internet, implemented in 1990. Upon his retirement from IBM at Armonk in 1993, Howard opened H. L. Funk Consulting, a technical consulting business serving a wide variety of clients, including the Town of Lewisboro, whose web site earned the citation of best in state in 2005. Services will be held at Clark Associates Funeral Home, 4 Woods Bridge Road, Katonah, on Sunday, October 30, 2011, at 11:30am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the New Netherland Institute, P.O. Box 2536, ESP Station, Albany, NY, 12220-0536. Those who knew Howard will know the depth of our loss. October 31, 2011

comments from obit site:

An all around good guy and a big Internet guy who was probably 10 years ahead of his time. Condolences to the family and all of his friends at IBM. ~ Larry Brechetz, New York, New York October 29, 2011

I am so sad to hear about Howard's death. He was such a wonderful and delightful man. He will be so missed. Much love to Lise, Helene, Rhoda and the grandchildren. ~ Nancy Hanway, Saint Paul, Minnesota October 28, 2011

We will miss Howard's wise counsel. Our hearts go out to Elisabeth and family. Kathy Cory, Janet Donohue, Lewisboro Town Clerk's Office.

Howard Funk, business owner, town consultant

Howard Funk, business owner, town consultant

Written by Ken Mastro
Friday, 28 October 2011 10:02

Howard Funk of Goldens Bridge died on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Mr. Funk owned a consulting business, H.L. Funk Consulting. He did technical consulting work for the town of Lewisboro, and was an advisor to the town regarding new technologies.

He created maps for the town, including new maps of the town park and Old Field Preserve in 2006. Mr. Funk had a large role in the creation and management of the town’s Web site,, which was named best in the state in 2005.

Mr. Funk has worked for IBM. He helped the company expand its Internet capabilities, author Mary Cronin wrote in Do More Business on the Internet: How the Electronic Highway Is Transforming American Companies. In 1985, according to Ms. Cronin, Mr. Funk suggested that IBM’s corporate division, which still communicated via internal networks and e-mail systems, embrace the Internet like the company’s research division had. IBM approved his proposal for a corporate Internet connection in 1990, allowing thousands of company employees to join the Internet.

Mr. Funk recently volunteered his time to develop the Web site for the New Netherland Project.

Mr. Funk was also a nature photographer. He had some of his nature photographs displayed in a Westchester Land Trust exhibit in 2005.

A funeral for Mr. Funk will be at Clark Associates Funeral Home at 4 Woods Bridge Road in Katonah on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 11:30.

Donations may be made to the New Netherland Institute, P.O. Box 2536, ESP Station, Albany, NY, 12220-0536.

source: Howard Funk, business owner, town consultant

Howard Funk Comments - emailed to me for this site

Our family received some lovely private letters and emails. If you would like me to post some thoughts about him here, please send an email to:


From Maria Teresa and Alex Braginski, Juelich, Germany: Howard was a wonderful friend, a great and quick mind with a tremendous sense of humor.  We'll cherish his memory, and we mourn him with his family. Maria Teresa and Alex Braginski, Juelich, Germany


From Judi and Stan: Our computer guru. Always solving any technical difficulty. Signing his emails "Cousin Howard" and more recently "Cuz"  Proudly shared the web sites he created. A hole is left in our world along with many good memories. Our hearts go out to Lies and his family. Cousins Judi and Stan


From E. Michael Brandt: My wife and I are so sad to hear this news.  Howard had an amazing and palpable grace... and we barely knew the man! We can only imagine the grand hole that his passing will leave in so many lives. Our email discussions ranged widely from family to medical (me being a retired eye surgeon) to professional, but always back to family. He was obviously very professionally savvy and had a knack for knowing when to ask for help, then gladly accepting it while heaping praise beyond reason. Thus it was always nice to help Howard. As for restaurants, it was Howard who first told me where to get the "best Pizza" in Portland, Oregon, although he'd not been here that I know of.  I learn now that he was a gourmand, so it must have tickled him mightily that I requested payment in Subway Restaurant coupons! My wife and I will miss him, and we're sorry we were never able make it to those parties by the pool to which he invited us even after we'd moved far away, from Massachusetts to Portland. Please let your mother know that we too miss him. Feel free to excerpt any portion of this note to broadcast as you wish. Thanks for letting us know about Howard's passing. It was an honor to have known him. E Michael Brandt (link added by Rhoda:


From our friends at Howard was a great friend to the New Netherland Institute for so many years.  His dedication to helping us with our web site and in many other ways contributed greatly to our organization.  We will all miss him.  Bill Greer


In Memory of Howard Funk, Former NYSRA Webmaster: We would like to acknowledge the passing of a friend of NYSRA, Howard  Funk. Howard designed our online membership system and showed infinite patience as we learned to use this statewide format. He was instrumental in getting all the Charlotte Award information available  on our website, as well. He was our web mentor as well as our webmaster. Howard will be missed. (posted on the front page of


From Howard and Mildred Cohen: Millie (my wife)  and I have known Howard and Lies, since we moved into Corlies Manor (a Garden Apt. complex in Poughkeepsie, NY) in May, i954. It was a 2 story building and we had moved into the apartment directly above them and our friendship continues to current times and is replete with memories over the years.

To begin with, we were shocked at receiving the notice of Howard's passing away so suddenly, when I had spoken to him just the previous week about some computer problem, which was not at all unusual. He was always my "go to guy" whenever I had an electronic problem or needed some odd bit of unusual information. I recall how pleased he was about Helene's son being accepted at Yale and his plans to become a physician, as his father had been. It is rare to know someone who is so willing to spend so much of his own time and so generously share it with you. May G-d bless you Howard.

Some memories:

A brilliant man with a sneaky sense of humor.

At the time we moved in above Howard and Lies, Millie was busy typing my doctorate thesis. I was a psychologist at Hudson River State Hospital and there is no question that the Funks suffered in silence, while enduring the typing noise through all hours of the night . Thin walls and as I recall, no complaints.

Our son Josh was born at about the same time Helene was born. Lies and Millie would generally sit out on the grass rocking the children in their baby carriages.

We have had a close relationship with the Funks throughout these many years and  feel blessed having had them as friends.

Howard and Mildred Cohen

What daughter Rhoda Fry had to say at the services for Howard L. Funk, Katonah, NY

My mom, Elisabeth Funk, asked me Rhoda Fry, my sister Helene Funk, and Howard’s sister Barbara to say a few words about my dad at the funeral. She wanted me to write it out, so that I wouldn’t stumble too much. Since his passing was such a surprise and the October snow storm that took the power and phones out along with all the work that needed to be done, the following does not do him justice. With text in hand however, I can share it with you here. Many could not make it due to the storm. I think my dad was too modest to have a big fuss made over him…

Many of you knew my dad before I came along, a half-century ago, so you already know that he was always 1.5 steps ahead in everything he did. For our family, he was 1.5 steps ahead – literally. We were 3 ducklings trying to catch up – that’s how I learned to walk REALLY fast.

Professionally, he had more than a job at IBM, he had a 40 year career:
An engineer/inventor – who got patents.
More than a member of technical organizations like IFIP, AFIPS, SID and Internet Society, he held leadership positions.

In his second career, he created countless websites:
- He reluctantly accepted an award for the best town website from New York State for the Lewisboro site.
- He collaborated with my mom on the New Netherland Project.
- If he hadn’t built my husband’s website and patiently taught me how to maintain it, we’d surely be out of business now.
He generously shared his knowledge with anyone who would ask. He was thoughtful to others to a fault. His morning regimen was to deliver the newspaper from the road to our neighbors’ doorsteps, wearing only his bathrobe, much to my mom’s chagrin.

Now he wasn’t a USA Today type of guy. He read the New York Times, Science Magazine, and Foreign Affairs, among others. He planned trips around the best restaurants.

With me, he shared his hobbies of magic and his progressively updated state-of-the-art darkroom. He helped me with my math homework – in college – partial differential equations, no less. And, I bet he was still sharp enough to do it a week ago. He died too young. About 20 years ago, he extended his planned life expectancy from 100 to 120.

When I moved to California, he was in his mid-fifties and serendipitously had more business trips there. We had some great times. He was not an outdoorsman but was a true sport about hiking through dunes or descending and ascending 300 steps to see the Point Reyes lighthouse. I would not undertake these feats today. His only fitness program was forgoing the elevators and taking the stairs at work.

In spite of, or should I say in addition to, his stellar intellect, he was a thoroughly personable gentleman. My husband Bill looked forward to his company and conversation when running mini-errands like a trip to town to purchase gas, a light bulb, or maybe even a single screw. He was not an idle man.

He always had just the right thing to say. On my wedding day, he told Bill, “She’s your problem now!” He had an enormous sense of humor, a formidable joke repertoire, and a mischievous look that I see in my son, Justin.

He marched to the beat of his own drum.
Here are a couple of his stories – greatly condensed:
- When he bought his first car, a Desoto from his Uncle Aaron, he got a tax bill in the mail. Taxation on a used car was tyranny! So he ignored the first two bills. And then he’d laugh – when he received the “third and final notice,” – that’s exactly what it was, no more notices.
- Second, he mocked a colleague’s obsession with status and purchased for himself a carafe that matched ones given to IBMers of higher rank. He set it out quietly on his credenza and several years later, he found out how that silly carafe needled that pompous guy, He’d laugh so hard.

Finally, he had this amazing knack for getting great parking places – a gift that he delighted in. Every time that predictably perfect parking spot magically appeared, he proudly proclaimed: “HOWARD, YOU LIVE RIGHT.” And he did. Don’t you think?


Mr. Howard L. Funk, an IFIP vice-president since 1991, was born in New York City. After his graduation from Washington University (St. Louis, Mis-souri) in 1952, he went to work for the International Business Machines Corporation, where, except for two years in military service, he stayed until June 1993. During his IBM career, he was involved in research and development in ferro-electrics, cryogenics, process control, image processing, manufacturing automation, and data communications. He spent nearly 5 years at the IBM headquarters in Paris, first as technical and marketing liaison for a U.S. division of IBM and later as the manager of special bids. He also served as technical assistant in the office of the IBM vice-president for Science and Technology.

Mr. Funk has been an active participant in professional society affairs since his undergraduate days at Washington University, where he served as president of the student chapter of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). He feels very strongly that professionals owe a debt to society, which has provided them with their education. He quotes Sir Francis Bacon on this point: I hold everyman a debtor to his profession, from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavour themselves by way of amends to be a help and ornament thereunto.

In the Society for Information Display, he served 6 years as a Director. The achievement within SID of which he is most proud was the internationalization of SID following the model he learned from his IFIP experience. The SID Long-Range Planning Committee also benefited from his contributions. He has also served in a number of conference leadership positions for SID and for the Imaging Science and Technology Society. In the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS), he served as chair of the Government Activities Committee, vice-president, and president. In 1989, he was named by AFIPS to be the United States representative to IFIP. He continued in this role when FOCUS (Federation on Computing in the U.S.) replaced AFIPS as the U.S. Member of IFIP. He also chaired the Fiscal Oversight Committee for IFIP Congress ’89, in San Francisco.

Mr. Funk and his wife Elisabeth, a professor of English at Manhattanville College, were married in her home town of Woerden, The Netherlands, in 1955. They now live in a rural suburb, about 80 km. north of New York City. Both of their daughters are married; one, the vice-president of an investment banking concern, lives in New York City, and the other, a software designer, lives in California.

(copied from

Kudos from Al Gore

Howard Funk was given kudos from Al Gore in the forward of the book Critical issues in the information age By Robert Lee Chartrand, American Federation of Information Processing Societies (page xvi):

It is particularly appropriate that the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) sponsored this latest seminar series, drawing on the experience of Robert Chartrand, who had conceived of the two earlier endeavors and served as editor for both Computers in the Service of Society (1972) and Information Technology Serving Society (1979). In his thrid undertaking, he worked in close collaboration with John Goden and Howard Funk of ther AFIPS Governmental Activities Committee.

We live in a time when politicians and philosophers alike must move with the times, whether this involves establishing new laws and institutions or learning the language of innovative technologies.The ability to understand and harness usefully the offerings of fiber optics, supercomputers, satellite linkages, and artificial intelligence may well dictate the heights to which this nation may rise, and conceivably even its survival. From such vital source material as that contained in Critical issues in the information age will come the knowledge and wisdom that will allow us to enter the 1990s with the necessary strength and sureness.


Commendation from Colonel Firman Hayman

In his 2-year required service in the army, Howard Funk received a commendation letter from Colonel Firman Hayman.

Howard Funk Website

H.L. Funk Consulting

  Web Site Design


Representative Sites



  • Apple
  • Hudson River Museum
  • Prefered Health Strategies
  • RS Ltd. (UK)
  • Quantum2000 (Australia)
  • IBM
  • Tandem
  • The Engineering Foundation
  • Westchester Land Trust

About Howard L. Funk

  • Created IBM's first major connection to the Internet
  • Served as the Executive Director of the Internet Society
  • Independent consultant since 1994
H.L.Funk Consulting
7 Diane Court
Katonah, NY 10536-2504
Phone: (914) 232-3530
Fax:: (914) 232-3530