Dave Funston 1959-2021

Dave Funston 1959-2021

Dave Funston, manager, national fleet operations for Mazda North American Operations, passed away on April 1, 2021, following a three-year battle with colon cancer.  He was 61. Funston passing caught many in the fleet industry unexpectedly and posted the below remembrances.

Dave was one of the best in the industry and will sorely be missed.   He is one of those guys that you went out of your way to say hello and always was upbeat.   I have had the pleasure of knowing Dave since his days at Isuzu and we have done many deals together over the years.   So hard to comprehend.    We lost a great man.   RIP Dave, you deserve it.   Love you man.

Michael Muehlenfeld, General Manager for Walser Automotive Group in Parkland, Fla.


My condolences to his family and friends.

Mike Slevin, Manager, Commercial Sales for Hyundai Motor America in Harrison, Ohio


I'm so sorry to hear that Dave is no longer with us. He always had a smile on his face and he made everyone around him feel welcome. I don't have words to express how much he will be missed. Rest in Peace. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

Debbie Struna, Account Executive for Fleet Street Remarketing in Oceanside, Calif.


Dave was always a gentleman and will be missed. Thanks for honoring a friend to many.

Mike Bessette, Vice President Fleet Operations for Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC in Deerfield Beach, Fla.


So sorry to hear of his passing, I will be keeping his family as well as the Mazda family in my prayers

Art Meyer, Fleet Procurement & Equipment Manager for Voidform in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas


I was saddened to hear of Dave's passing.  I had always enjoyed our time together; he always had an interesting story to tell and a bright smile on his face.  Truly a genuine person.  He'll be missed.

Jim Petrillo, Manager Treasury Services & Fleet Management for FujiFilm Holdings America Corp. in Valhalla, N.Y.


I'm stunned. I worked with Dave in fleet sales at American Isuzu. He was a wonderful friend, funny, could pick you up when you were down. He is sorely missed. My deepest sympathy to his wife and family; you will all be in my prayers.

Bob Cavalli, Fleet Consultant in Richmond, Va.


I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Dave. Dave was one of the most kind, consistent people I have ever known and became friends with. No matter how much time had passed between seeing Dave, whenever we did re-connect, he was the same Dave, time and time again. Dave added tremendous value to our industry and for me, I am a better person because of knowing Dave. RIP my friend!

Ron Shoemaker, Co-Founder of The Hourglass Foundation in Denver, Colo


What a shock! Dave was a great guy and true friend. We got to be very good friends through AFLA as he was a tremendous advocate for the fleet industry. He will truly be missed by all.

Terry Langness, Bloomington Minn.

Langness retired after serving as vice president, national Sales for Professional Automotive Relocation Services, Inc. (PARS)  during its formative years from 2002 to until his retirement in 2018. From 1998 to 2002 Langness served as VP Customer Setup & Maintenance at GE Capital. Langness started his fleet career in 1975 with Gelco Corp., which was acquired by GE Capital Fleet Services. -- Editor


One of the best is gone. What do you say? All I can think of is, “Dave, when you got to the other side, I am sure you were greeted with a big smile and a bearhug!"”

Jim Schalberg, Owner of Jim Schalberg Auto Rental Solutions in Rock Hill, N.C.


Dave was a class act and a dear friend.  Dave and I worked together for many years... he was a servant leader, trusted advisor, and a fantastic car guy.  Dave will be dearly missed in our industry.  My thoughts and prayers are for Dave, Susan, and their wonderful family.

Scott Kolb, Consultant in Indianapolis, Ind.


I am saddened to hear about Dave's passing. We worked with him over the past several years in our driving school association and we added several Mazdas to our fleet due to his hard work. I loved his sense of humor and his willingness to go the extra mile. What a tragic loss.

Bridget Johns, Co-Owner of Defensive Driving School in Bellevue, Wash.


Truly one of the nicest guys in the industry. I never saw Dave without a smile on his face. A good friend that will be missed. My condolences to the family.

Greg Thibault, Retired Vice President Fleet Disposal for Avis Budget Group in Alpharetta, Ga.

About the author
Mike Antich

Mike Antich

Former Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Global Fleet of Hal in 2022. He also won the Industry Icon Award, presented jointly by the IARA and NAAA industry associations.

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