Friday, August 16, 2013

Aging Parents Fear the Future

Jessica Funkhouser’s specialty is putting together small clamps that attach conduits to the wall, but she has big dreams. At 28, she likes dragons and dinosaurs, heavy metal music and history. She wants to be a writer.
Tom Funkhouser and his wife,
Patti, right, with their daughters
Lori, 24, in pink, and Jessica, 28.
At Pride Industries’ Auburn workshop in California — where her father, 61-year-old Tom Funkhouser, a Navy veteran and Hewlett Packard retiree, works as a production trainer across the floor from Jessica’s work table — she puts on her turquoise earphones and deals with the clamps.“I usually just do clamp, clamp, clamp," she said.But she’s working, and she likes that.When she was born with a rare genetic disorder causing developmental disabilities and physical challenges, doctors told Tom and Patti Funkhouser that their tiny, dark-haired daughter would never walk or talk. She probably wouldn’t even survive childhood, doctors said.

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