General Greely was away in the early hours of April 18, 1906, when the Funstons awoke to feel their home shaking on its foundation. When the extent of the damage of the infamous San Francisco earthquake became obvious, General Funston immediately ordered troop mobilization and took personal command of local law enforcement and relief efforts. Though acting without explicit state or national authority, Funston worked quickly to establish communications, sanitation, medical facilities, basic accommodations, and general order in the ravaged city.
As her husband organized relief efforts, Eda worked tirelessly to assist the victims of the earthquake. While fires spread throughout San Francisco, Eda assisted Dora Thompson, the Head Nurse at Letterman Hospital, in caring for the injured. She also directed a nurses' corps at the Presidio. In the aftermath of San Francisco’s greatest natural disaster, no family was more influential than the Funstons in the salvation of the city.
Eda and the children followed Frederick Funston as his military career led him to bases across the country. In 1917, while stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, he died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-one. After her husband’s death, Eda remained loyal to the Funston legacy. She remained in San Francisco for the rest of her life and for several years lived with her daughters in the Sea View area near the Presidio. Eda Funston remained active in military, social, and political circles and was especially committed to providing for disabled World War I veterans.
On June 7, 1932, at the age of fifty-five, Eda Blankart Funston suffered a fatal heart attack and died at Letterman Hospital. She was survived by three of her four children—all residents of San Francisco—who lived to see the family name honored throughout the city in such places as Funston Avenue, Funston playground, and Fort Funston.
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Young, Lt. Dave. "Mg. Frederick Funston." Museum of the Kansas National Guard, http://skyways.lib.ks.us/museum/kng/mohfunston.html.
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Photos Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society. Copy And Reuse Restrictions Apply.
Last updated: February 28, 2015