J.L. Cunningham was born May 17, 1925 in Wellston, Oklahoma to Jesse Lee Cunningham and Flossie (Farmer) Ramirez. He walked into the arms of his savior from his home in Chandler on July 23, 2019 at the age of 94.
J.L. proudly served his country in the United States Army during World War II. He enlisted in the Army and served in “Company C, the Rough and Ready,” of the 276th Combat Engineers from 1942 to 1945 in Europe. He and his battalion were part of the Battle of the Ardennes Forest, the Rhineland Campaign, Central Europe, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Ardennes. He was a member of the American Legion and received his 50 year member award in 2010.
J.L. met Martha and they raised 2 children, John Lee Cunningham and Gloria Cunningham Sawyer, while working diligently on their dairy farm near Davenport, Oklahoma.
After retiring from the First National Bank of Chandler as a farm assessor, he and Martha traveled the United States for many years in various motor homes, visiting family and reacquainting with war buddies.
He was a precise marksmen who enjoyed hunting and fishing and getting good deals at garage sales. In recent years, he could be found driving around his property on his lawnmowers. Sometimes, he towed the trailer held great grandkids for a jolly ride. He was also very proud to be a dairy farmer for most of his life.
J.L. is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Freida Creech. Survivors include his wife of 74 years, Martha, of the home; son, John Cunningham and his wife Sharon of Safford, Arizona; daughter, Gloria Sawyer of Chandler; (5) grandchildren, Amanda and Matt of Oklahoma, Justin, Scott, Tony of Arizona; (4) great-grandchildren, Jeremiah, Thaila, Hailey and Jackson of Arizona; sister, Ada Lane of California; along with other family and friends.
A memorial service with military honors will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 17, 2019 at the Nazarene Church of Davenport. Arrangements are under the direction of Lehman Funeral Home of Wellston.
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