EAST LIVERPOOL - Funeral services are being planned for Saturday for Robert R. "Bob" Cunningham, of state Route 267 in Glenmoor, who passed away at 11:15 a.m. Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at Calcutta Health Care Center. He was 90.
He was born in East Liverpool on Aug. 7, 1923, and was raised in the Maplewood section of the city and remained here the rest of his life. The youngest of three children born to the late John Thomas "Tom" and Martha Campbell Coburn Cunningham, he was a 1942 graduate of East Liverpool High School, where he was a four-year member of the basketball team. He had also played the trombone in the marching band and was president of the band his senior year. Bob then attended Geneva College on a basketball scholarship.
In March 1943, during World War II, Bob began his military service with the 33rd Infantry Division, achieving the rank of first sergeant. He served for nearly three years in the Pacific Theatre, Hawaii, New Guinea, The Philippines, and Takarazuka, Japan. During his service time, he was the recipient of the Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, and a Special Commendation for Outstanding Service in Luzon. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Upon his return home, he married his high school sweetheart, Alma E. Schneidmiller on Feb. 20, 1946, at St. John Lutheran Church in East Liverpool. They would have celebrated 68 years of marriage next month.
He had at one time been a packer at Hall China and a delivery driver at Vernon Dell Dairy, and spent over 32 years as an electrician in the Colt Hot Strip Substation at Crucible Steel Corporation, retiring in 1983.
A lifelong supporter of East Liverpool High School athletics, he served as a youth basketball and baseball coach for almost 20 years. He belonged to the Old Timer's Baseball Association, and had served on the ELHS Hall of Fame committee. Bob was also past officer for the senior men's golf league at Beaver Meadows and past president of the senior men's bowling league.
Bob was a proud charter member/founder of the Glenmoor Volunteer Fire Department and helped in building Glenmoor's first fire station in 1949. He also belonged to the U.S. Steelworkers Union Local 1212, American Legion Post 374, and the VFW Post 66.
Bob and Alma were longtime members of St. John Lutheran Church, where he had served on church council, as well as Emmanuel Presbyterian Church.
A practical joker who loved to tell stories and jokes, Bob was always kidding other people. Bob was a good family man who loved his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Alma, Bob also leaves behind his four children: Rick (Mary Jane) Cunningham of Mansfield, Ohio; Dan Cunningham of East Liverpool; John (Valerie) Cunningham of Chester; and Barbara (Dennis) Green of Keller, Texas. There are six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren also surviving.
Bob's two sisters, Mrs. Charles (Helen) Pickering and Mrs. Ernie (Alberta) Bates, preceded him in death.
Friends may visit at the Dawson Funeral Home on Friday, where the family will be present from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friends may also visit one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday morning.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Tanta Luckhardt-Hendricks of the church and Pastor Tom Schneidmiller of Grace Church officiating. Burial will take place at Riverview Cemetery, where the Tri-State Veteran's Burial Group will provide full military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley, Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, or St. John Lutheran Church.
View Mr. Cunningham's memorial webpage and send condolences to the family online at www.dawsonfuneralhome.com