Ruth Funkhouser of O'Sullivan Farms Dead

Ruth Funkhouser, who played a major role in the founding of the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association, died Nov. 2 in a Ranson, W.Va., hospital. She was 90.


A native of Hawaii who came stateside to attend boarding school, Funkhouser and her son, Randy, operated O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town. The farm, founded in 1939 and the oldest Thoroughbred farm in the state, was started by Funkhouser's late husband, Justin Funkhouser.

Ruth and Randy Funkhouser proved instrumental in the creation of the West Virginia Thoroughbred Development Fund and the West Virginia Breeders Classics. Confucius Say, a son of O'Sullivan stallion Eastover Court bred by O'Sullivan, won the West Virginia Breeders Classic Stakes in 2001-02 for a partnership that included Ruth Funkerhouser and O'Sullivan. Another of Funkhouser's top stakes winners was multiple added-money winner Jefferson Pop.

In addition to Randy, who runs the farm with his wife, Clissy, Funkhouser is survived by a son, Robert, and daughters Ann and Pamela.

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