James Joseph Cunningham
February 21, 1924 – September 28, 2019
Jim Cunningham, 95, passed peacefully on September 28, 2019, surrounded by his loved ones. He was born February 21, 1924, in Cherryvale, Kansas to Hubert Cunningham and Eva Ross. At the age of 19, Jim enlisted into the United States Air Force during WWII. Through the military, he attended Yale University and then served in Foggia, Italy as a Communications Officer. Upon return to the US in 1945, he reconnected with his childhood friend Ellen L. O’Leary, and they got married on June 14, 1948. They moved to Colorado, where Jim continued his education as he attended the University of Boulder Colorado. He later transferred to Texas Tech University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1962. During this time, from 1949 until 1965, they had ten children. Lt. Col. Cunningham served in USAF for 26 years, and upon retirement in 1969, he worked in the aerospace industry at Aerojet General in Azusa, California. It was at this time, when the family settled down in California, where Jim would live until his passing. Jim was a man of many talents and had many passions in life. He played the piano and enjoyed singing. He was in the Dixie Dudes Barbershop Quartet as a teenager. He was a naturally gifted artist and loved to sketch and paint. His other hobbies included gardening, puzzles, word searches, and anything else to keep his mind sharp. He also liked keeping up to date on current events and was interested in tracking the family’s lineage. When he lived in Moreno Valley, he started the town’s effort to eradicate graffiti tagging, and his catchphrase was: “What goes down at night is gone by the light.” Above all, he loved and cherished his family, and he would never hesitate to help any one of them as best he could. When asked how many children he had he would always reply, “I have Ten Little Indians, and they are all number one”. Lt. Col. Cunningham was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Ellen L. Cunningham, who passed in 1995. He is survived by his ten children; Ronald, David, Paul, Erin, Mark, Mary, Peter, Matthew, Linda Cunningham, and Susan St.Clair; Son-in-laws Dr. Larry Snyder and Carl St.Clair; Daughter-in-laws Alice, Karin, Lindy McKnight, and Gina Maconi; and his grandchildren Peter Cunningham, Daniel Honeywill, Jessica Honeywill, Kirsten Friedman, Carly McKnight, Nicole Corliss, Quinn McKnight, Cole St.Clair (D), Siena St.Clair, Cade St.Clair, Kate Ellen Snyder, and Sophia Velazquez.
- Funeral Service Thursday, October 3, 2019