In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Organization, the First United Methodist Church-Mexia, Delta Kappa Gamma, Kappa Delta Pi, local Groesbeck ISD and Mex...
OBITUARY

Patricia Webster Cunningham

May 21, 1936March 2, 2018
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Patricia Webster Cunningham died 3/2/2018 in an Austin nursing home after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Dementia. Patricia was born in Coalfield (Morgan County), TN on May 21, 1936. She was the eighth child of ten children by parents Paris G. Webster and Linnie Myrtle Hill. Patricia is survived by her husband, Edward F. Cunningham, daughter Cynthia Cunningham-Piper of Buda, TX; son David Cunningham of Houston; three grand-daughters; three great grand-sons; a sister Elizabeth Anne Charamella of East Lansing, MI. After graduating high school in Coalfield where she excelled in academics as well as extra-curricular activities (band, drum major, election to Girls’ State) , Patricia attended college in Berea, KY, the University of Tennessee Knoxville, the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) where she earned a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education and a M.A. Degree in Elementary Education-Cognate Reading. As a graduate student at UAB she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education. While attending the University of Tennessee, Patricia met her husband, Edward Cunningham, an Engineering Student. They were married off-campus in 1958 upon Edward’s graduation. They then moved to Birmingham, AL, where Edward took up his first engineering job and Patricia took up house-keeping. While in Birmingham, Edward entered Military Service for a short period of active duty before returning home to reserve status and a resumption of civilian employment. The “home-coming” coincided with the celebration of the birth of the first child, Cynthia. Then the “couple plus one” moved to Pennsylvania as a result of the husband’s job transfer. There during several more job-transfer moves within the state, a second child, David, was born. Following David’s birth, Patricia and family moved back to Birmingham (another job transfer), where Patricia resumed her college education, continued raising a family and started a teaching career that spanned over thirty years. Patricia’s first teaching position was in Birmingham at the Advent Episcopal Day School. She started out as an Aid and then after earning a B.S. Degree (later an M.A. Degree), was assigned a 1st grade teaching position. While still living in Birmingham, Patricia went on to accept teaching positions at Vestavia Hills Elementary. In 1981 Patricia’s husband accepted a position with a new company in Houston, TX. On moving to Houston Patricia took a teaching position for two years at Webster Primary in the Clear Creek ISD. In 1983 husband Edward’s employer offered him a Plant Manager position at a new plant in Central Texas. This new position was accepted, and the family moved to Limestone County to a newly built home about half-way between the cities of Mexia and Groesbeck, TX. There Patricia resumed her teaching career as a First Grade Teacher in the Groesbeck ISD. There she retired in 1999, after 17 years of service at that location. While living in Limestone County Patricia and husband were socially active in numerous organizations in and around Mexia, TX. They joined the First United Methodist and were active in several ministries of the church included singing in the choir for many years. Patricia became active in several local civic/social organizations including Friday Club, The Mexia Garden Club, the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International (a society that promotes professional and personal growth of women educators) and of which Patricia served as president for a term.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Reception Friday, March 9, 2018
REMEMBERING

Patricia Webster Cunningham

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Shannon Cunningham

March 9, 2018

My favorite memory of Grandmama is her association with mornings for me. Sun shining through the windows, birds chirping outside, the slow wafting scent of breakfast cooking. Fried eggs, bacon, sausage, buckwheat pancakes drizzled with honey, fresh pineapple. She was the guardian at the gate, welcoming us to a new day — spatula in hand, coffee on her breath, a smile on her face asking how we slept. I’ve never really been one for breakfast food, or even just mornings in general. But when I was in Mexia, the morning was a time to rejoice. The country breeze, the sunshine warming your skin as it trickled its way through the glass windows at the dining table Grandmama always kept so neat and tidy. Even though I would walk into the kitchen blurry eyed and still yawning, Grandmama was always there to give a good morning kiss — already put together and ready for the day. She was amazing. Capable, strong, and independent. Through her physical challenges, she created, built, and whipped up the best fried eggs this side of the Mississippi. She raised children, took pride in her home. In her powerful hands, she cradled us all.

Sarah Cunningham

March 9, 2018

Growing up, mom and dad would always drive us to Huntsville to meet Grandmama and Granddaddy half-way to Mexia. Some of my fondest memories of Grandmama happened within the car, on that 1 and a half hour drive from Huntsville to Mexia. Always the teacher and an entertainer, Grandmamma would play a counting game with me to pass the time. We would each pick a side window to look out of, and would compete to see how many horses we could count on our sides. As the country passed by, we counted and counted, and the person with the most horses on her side of the car won. I remember feeling so excited to count the horses and compare them to Grandmama’s count. I remember her laughing. She was always so gifted at working with children, and making them feel smart and important. I cherish the time I had with her in the car, playing games, listening to stories of her childhood, and singing a song about a missing kitty cat.

Linda Knockaert

March 9, 2018

When you knew someone for 34 years, it's really difficult to decide on just one memory with that person to share. My Grandmama was such a huge presence in my life. Even though she and Granddaddy lived about three hours away my entire childhood, I felt like they were always around, always participating in the family, always willing to keep me for what felt like weeks in the summertime. Out of all the thousands of memories that were made over the years, the one thing that I keep coming back to as I reminisce about Grandmama was her love of singing. She's the one who taught me to sing and without a doubt she's the reason I love singing and music today. Grandmama was always humming a tune or singing a song as she worked around the house. I can still hear her voice. When we would go run errands, or to church, or shopping in Waco, she and I would sing during the drive. She loved hearing me sing, and would push me outside of my comfort zone and have me perform at church on occasion. I never felt completely confident, or that I was "that" good to sing solo, but it didn't matter to her. She was immensely proud of me, and I'm pretty sure she thought everything I sang was perfect. I wish I had had the fortitude to sing to her on the day I said goodbye, but I know she can hear me anytime now. It has always brought back wonderful memories of my time with her when I sing our favorite songs to my boys. And one day, I'll be able to say, "This is a song your great-great-Grandmama used to sing to me...." I will be forever grateful that she shared with me her joy of singing; I will always remember that I love it too because of her.

Sherri LeNoir

March 9, 2018

Pat Cunningham was such a delight. I loved her smile and her sense of humor. Not only did she teach my two boys, but I had the honor to teach with her. Pat was a true educator. She will be missed.

Linda & Dr. Tom Fox, Jr.

March 9, 2018

The Cunningham's were the sweetest neighbors. I loved their beautiful yard, especially the Wisteria tree. Always had a smile for us. So sad when they had to leave. My son, Brandon enjoyed taking care of the place when they went out of town, he loved the pool! I know she's whole now, and pray for God's comfort and peace.

Sherry Gray

March 8, 2018

Ms Cunningham was such a wonderful, God loving person and teacher to my daughter. She was one that students remember for life. Our paths crossed at a perfect time in my life; such a blessing to me and my family.
Thank you for sharing her story.

Megan Gray

March 7, 2018

What a beautiful lady. It was an honor to be in her class. She was an amazing teacher and friend. I remember writing back and forth with her for several years after moving right after 1st grade. She encouraged my creativity and I’ve thought much about her and missed her over the years. I will forever be grateful for knowing her.

Susan Lenamon

March 7, 2018

What a wonderful person, teacher & friend. She taught my hearing impaired daughter but she also taught me in raising my daughter. I will forever be grateful for the honor of having this sweet lady in our lives.

Capri Dillon

March 7, 2018

My daughter Ariel Dillon was in Mrs. Cunningham's first grade class. What sweet memories we have of that year! In addition to being an amazing teacher, she was such a sweet, kind, and gracious soul. Thank you for all your many years dedicated to teaching!
The Dillon's

Michael Bowe

March 7, 2018

Cunningham Family,

My condolences to the Cunningham family on the loss of Pat. I knew Ed and Pat from First United Methodist Church in Mexia.