Couple safe but sad after losing barn
by Holly Davis
After Sunday night’s storms, Robert and Marsha Funk are counting their blessings while also grieving over the loss of the 100-year-old barn that used to stand in front of their McLouth home.
Earlier Sunday night, Marsha went outside to the barn to check up on her horse and newborn colt when it began pouring down rain. She decided to wait until the storm died down before going back to the house when her husband joined her in the barn to make sure she was all right.
He made a split decision to run for the house as the storm began to pick up, and within a minute, Marsha said the barn had collapsed.
“We made a run for it, turned around, and the barn was gone,” she said. “I’m still shaking.”
After the storm had eased off, the husband and wife went to check out the damage and were thankful to see that the horse and her baby were still alive and well.
“I’m so happy that the horses are fine,” Marsha said.
The Funk family have lived at the McLouth residence since 1978 and bought it from Robert’s mother who had owned it since 1966. Marsha said she remembers both her children and grandchildren growing up around the barn.
“I just keep telling myself that we’re fine, the animals are fine, and we’re lucky, but then I look outside and just feel sick. It’s like losing a friend. That barn was part of the family,” she said.
This is not the first time the Funks have lost a barn to a storm. They lost a pole barn a few years back and decided to build a new one in December. It was only a few months old when another storm hit and Robert watched it “fly up in the air, twist, and then land back down.”
After the loss of two barns, Marsha said she was upset, but reassured herself that she would always have her “old” barn.
“We plan to live here forever and we thought the barn would be here too,” she said, “I’m still just so upset.”
She said a neighbor had a window broken in the Sunday storm and a friend who had used the scraps of her pole barn had rebuilt one at his house to find it was damaged beyond repair as well.
“Have we had enough drama? I would like things to be boring for a while,” Marsha laughed.
Robert and Marsha have three children, Jason, McLouth; Jeremy, Oskaloosa; and Jessica, Platte City, Mo. They also have nine grandchildren.
They are waiting for the electrical curcuits in the barn to be shut off before deciding what is salvageable.
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