Homicide victim remembered by cab company, co-workers

Michelle Foster, general manager/dispatcher at Yellow Cab of the Shenandoah LLC, places a black ribbon on the grill of one of the taxis on Thursday in memory of driver Simon Jefferson Funk Jr., 42, who was found dead from a gunshot wound in a wooded area of Shenandoah Farms on Wednesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Workers associated with the company where homicide victim Simon Funk Jr. drove a taxi were still stunned Thursday at the news of his death one day after hearing of it.

All seven of the vehicles at the Yellow Cab of Shenandoah LLC rolled through the streets of Front Royal with black bows affixed to their grilles as a symbol of grief over the loss of Funk.

A message lettered onto the back of each cab’s window read: “In loving memory of Simon Funk Jr. RIP. We (heart) you.”

Tony Elar, president and managing partner of the cab company, said Funk, 42, was an independent contractor who had been driving with Yellow Cab since 2009.

Elar said Funk was one of two senior drivers at the company. He worked nights and days.

Writing on the rear window of this Yellow Cab of the Shenandoah LLC on Thursday shows the company's response to the loss of one of its drivers. Rich Cooley/Daily

“Simon was well-liked by all the drivers,” Elar said. “I personally liked him a lot. He was very loyal to me. He tried to do the right thing every day, and I miss him a lot.”

Funk’s lifeless body was found in a wooded area in the 700 block of Kildare Drive early Wednesday morning. Authorities say he died of a gunshot wound.

Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron said a “person of interest” was taken into custody on charges unrelated to Funk’s death.

McEathron provided no new details Thursday about the circumstances of Funk’s death. He said the victim’s body is at the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas, but no official cause of death has been determined.

Funk’s death is the first homicide in Warren County since 2008.

Acquaintances say he was once-divorced with no children.

Michelle Foster, a dispatcher with Yellow Cab, said she fondly remembers Funk “as a very good person.”

“He had a big heart,” Foster said. “He would do anything he could for anybody. When someone had a birthday or on holidays, he was very thoughtful. He would buy you a card. He would always remember things like that.”

Funk’s mother, Connie Clatterbuck of Front Royal, said she saw her son hours before he was killed. She said he waved to her from his cab as he drove past her. It was the last time she saw him alive.

Clatterbuck said she went to her son’s residence at 340 W. 9th St. after she learned early Wednesday morning that he was missing. A sheriff’s deputy came by to tell her of Funk’s death just before noon.

“When that cop told me, I just went berserk,” Clatterbuck said. “I just lost it. Children aren’t supposed to die before their parents.”

Clatterbuck said she is still trying to figure out how to pay for his son’s funeral.

“We don’t have $5,000,” Clatterbuck said, alluding to the cost of a funeral. “We have to come up with it in the next couple of days to get everything squared away and put him to rest.”

Danielle Mudery of Front Royal said she got to know Funk through another family member. She described Funk as a shy person who was like an uncle to her.

“He was such a good man,” Mudery said.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com