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Rutha Mae Funchess-Harrington, Sunrise: March 31, 1941 - Sunset: April 12, 2021
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 11 May 2021

Our beloved Rutha Mae Funchess-Harrington age 80, passed from this life on earth with us to life in the presence of her Lord on April 12, 2021.

Ruth, lovingly known as “Mama Ruth” or “Gigi” was born March 31, 1941 in Silver Creek, Mississippi to Naomi Daniels and Wrothel Funchess. She had 6 siblings whom the Lord has allowed to still be with us.

Ruth went on to graduate from Monticello High and in time she completed the course work of the Paul Brown International Beauty school which allowed her a 60+ year career as a beautician, and eventually becoming the first Black beauty shop owner in Portland, Oregon’s Burnside/Pearl District.

Ruth left Mississippi and joined her older siblings in Portland, Oregon by way of relatives in Chicago, Illinois.

Ruth gave birth to 4 children; Gregory B. Funchess (deceased), Princess Funchess, Harrison Funchess, and Scott T. Harrington (deceased). She married Robert T. Harrington (deceased), a white man on August 13, 1965, two years before interracial marriages were deemed legal through the landmark case Virgina v. Loving decided in 1967.

Ruth always challenged the system, either by choice or simply as her nature. Standing at a little over 5 feet she raised her family, diversified her industry, traveled the world, further integrated her neighborhood which initially asked her and her husband to move, owned her own business, and left a legacy of love, laughter, wisdom, fun and food.

While we had her she enjoyed a 30-yr career as a professional bowler, she was one of the first Black beauticians to work at the Lloyd center, one of the first and longest employed Black beauticians in the Pearl District, she was a foster and community mom/grandma to a host of children, was a faithful member of the family church and the local chapter of the Eastern Star.

Heaven is being blessed by our Angel.

She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Harrington, her eldest child Gregory Funchess, her youngest child Scott Harrington, great-granddaughter Alina Rameriz and her great-grandsons Jesus

Moadeeb Darden-Funchess, Elijah Benjamin Gonzalez-Funchess, and Cordel Funchess-Rodela.

Mourning her loss, she leaves behind her only daughter Princess Funchess, son Harrison Funchess (wife Sandra), daughter in-law Bridgette Harrington, adopted son Rodney Myrick, grandchildren; Tony Funchess, Lamont Funchess, Keara Funchess-Rodela (husband Don Carlos), Nic Delia, Marcus Zacarias (wife Michelle), and Robert Harrington; great grandchildren Daniel-Jireh Gonzalez-Funchess, Nehemiah Gonzalez Funchess, Promise Rena-Ruth Funchess, Titus Rodela, Isabelle Rodela, Aniiah Zacarias, Zayden Zacarias, Abel Rameriz, and a great-great-grandson, Nasir Mckinley Gonzalez (Funchess).

Sharing in this loss are all of her sisters, Janette Andrews, Buelah Campbell, Naomi Wrighten, and Jewlia Funchess and brothers Joe and Charles Funchess Sr., along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, adopted family and special friends.

A special service of remembrance will be held Saturday May 15 at 11a.m., hosted by Senior Pastor Rose E. Franks at the House of Prayer for All Nations located at 721 N. Mason St. in Portland, Oregon and on Zoom.

The family would like to thank all those that have sent flowers, cards, prayers and support. For those who would like to send something the mailing address for the Funchess Family is: P.O. Box 2045 Portland, Oregon 97208.

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