Published 6:05 pm Friday, December 28, 2018
Charles Dunlap Cunningham, 99, of Nolensville, TN and Sandy Ridge, AL, died peacefully on December 3, 2018. He was a decorated WWII veteran, retired Lt. Col. (USAF) with Command Pilot Wings. (Flying Class 41-G)
His wife of 45 years, Sue Brooks Bates Cunningham, preceded Mr. Cunningham in death. He is survived by daughters, Charlotte Cunningham (Mark) Crawford of Nashville, Tenn., Susan Bates (Gene) Holtrey of Oviedo, Fla.; sons, Michael L. (Lisa) Cunningham of Houston, Tex., James V. (Joan) Cunningham of Austin, TX and Robert Brooks (Mary Zorn) Bates of Athens, G.A.; eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Donations may be made in Charlie’s memory to one’s favorite charity or to Triune Baptist Church (Arrington, TN).
A remembrance by Charlotte follows:
Going through Dads papers, I came across a birthday card I made for his 80th birthday, where I listed things I had learned and admired about his life. One of the paragraphs said,
“Life itself is constantly changing- but God is Faithful. A good course will end at a great destination.”
When Mom died and Dad came to live with us, I watched as He did not retreat from a new situation, but slowly and steadily grew in new friendships and adventures.
At 91, he bought a new Mustang, and in a little over 5 years had put over 100,000 miles on it!
He started delivering Meals on Wheels, and was still doing that up till 5 months ago!
He started attending Triune Baptist, plugged into Dr. Ducks Sunday school class, and had a regular “lunch bunch” date on Sundays.
He went on the church’s Israel tour- at age 94
All of this was accompanied by a constant desire to give back, from a grateful heart for how much God had blessed him.
Dad got a lot of recognition for having been a WWII fighter pilot, and rightly so. But I also think that same sense of adventure, bravery, and humility was equally present with him all the way to the end. Thanks Dad. I miss you so, but wow, what an adventure you’re having now.