Journalism honors

Published June 9, 2008 / by Steve Berentson

I was sitting on this exciting piece of news, but the Skagit Valley Herald reported it this morning, so the cat’s out of the bag: Wallie V. Funk of Anacortes has been named to the University of Washington Department of Communication Alumni Hall of Fame. Funk, 85, was born in Anacortes and spent most of his community journalism career between this city and neighboring Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Like many of his peers, this member of “The Greatest Generation” served in the military (U.S. Army) during World War II. He and partner John Webber (also a Husky) purchased the Anacortes American as “twenty-somethings” and operated it until it was purchased by the Skagit Valley Herald. Their impact on community affairs was dramatic in Anacortes, and even more so in Oak Harbor, where they published the Whidbey News-Times, the South Whidbey Record and “Crosswind,” a newspaper covering events at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Wallie and Mary Ann (a career high school English teacher) retired here after selling the Whidbey publications to David Black of Canada. What a logical choice for a “Hall of Fame” selection! We are blessed to still count Wallie among this community’s selfless “movers and shakers.” For article from UW Alumni Web site, see

About Steve Berentson
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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