At our 40th Reunion, the ’78 Reunion Prayer Breakfast featured classmates Andy Funke (34th Co.) and Mark Fox (18th Co.) sharing the great things God has done in their lives since we became classmates 44 years ago — even in the midst of the most difficult times.
Andy is a medical doctor commissioned in and retired from U.S. Public Health Service currently in a rural private practice who recently lost his wife of 37 years. Andy shared his story of experiencing God’s faithfulness even — and especially — through the loss of his wife Debbie after a 12 1/2 year battle with cancer. Debbie went to be with the Lord in November 2016 within just a few months of the loss of both Andy’s father and his mother. Andy and Debbie raised 5 children together, and Andy’s story of God’s goodness includes how Debbie was able to hold and enjoy all 3 of their grandchildren, all born within 5 months of her passing. Andy is currently a family doctor in Greenwood, SC. After completing his initial service obligation as a SWO, Andy graduated from medical school at USUHS in Bethesda, transferring from the Navy to the U.S. Public Health Service. For the next 16 years, Andy provided and directed medical services to rural indigent populations in South Carolina. In 2004, Andy retired from the Public Health System and entered private practice with a long-time friend from his residency.
Mark served 38 years on active duty and retired as the Deputy CENTCOM Commander distinguished for, among other things, his Iraq War MIG kill and his service to the President. Mark delivered a message of inspiration, encouragement and humor. Mark had the ultimate Naval warrior’s career — from A-7’s to F-18’s; flying in the “Line of Death” operations against Libya in 1986; launching as a spare on the first daytime carrier strike of the Gulf War and shooting down a supersonic Iraqi MIG; commanding the Navy’s first Super Hornet squadron; and as Air Wing Commander aboard the carrier Constellation, being the strike lead and mission commander for the opening strike of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mark’s experience at the highest levels of command have been no less remarkable. After serving as Air Wing Commander, he served as 1-star spokesman for the Multi-National Force Iraq in Baghdad, later as Commander of Naval Central Command/5th Fleet in Bahrain, then Deputy CNO for Operations, Plans and Strategy at the Pentagon, and ultimately as Deputy Commander of CENTCOM.