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“To the Cunningham family and friends, I send my sincere condolences. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. May the...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: JW - AL


Richard Joseph Cunningham, 86, of Rancho Mirage CA and Chatham MA died November 16, 2017 after a brief illness.
Born on May 8, 1931, in Evanston IL, Dick was the son of the late William Cunningham and his wife Guila (French), formerly of Bronxville NY.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Emily (Dexter) Cunningham, daughter of the late Wallace Dexter formerly of Chatham MA and the late Bernice (Baldwin) formerly of Chatham MA, and his first wife Elisabeth (Brennig) Gaines.
He is also survived by two sons, the Rev. Christopher (LtCol USMCR) and his wife LeighAnna (Feeser) of Grosse Pointe Park MI, and William Scott (CAPT USNR) and his wife Jenny (Moore) of Falls Church VA; six grandchildren, Christopher Robert of Chicago IL, Elisabeth of New Paltz NY, Phillip of Richmond VA, William and his wife Katherine (Hill) of Boston MA, Allison of Alexandria VA, and George Wiley of Falls Church VA. He also has nephews William, David, and Richard Evans who have been an important part of his life.
Dick attended DePauw University, entered the USMC through the Naval Cadet and trained as a pilot in the F4U Corsair, eventually transitioning to Saber Jets (FJ-3) at MCAS Cherry Point NC. After leaving the Marine Corps Reserve as a Captain he was hired by Pan American Airways as a pilot, flying the Atlantic routes in DC-7Cs. After being furloughed due to the arrival of jets, Pan American Sales and Marketing Division sent him to Frankfurt, Germany, and also to Lagos, Nigeria, as a consultant to Nigeria Airways. Returning to the USA he became Military Manager for Pan American in Detroit and New York during the Vietnam War, helping to arrange Rest and Recuperation for our soldiers. His love for flying continued with Emily, flying Beechcraft Bonanzas across the country. In the mid-1970s he moved to the Village of Wayne in the Chicago suburbs, developing two successful businesses in travel and healthcare.
He was very active in the community, as a Board Member at Sunrise Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA; with the Monomoy Yacht Club and US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Chatham, MA, and as a Board Member at Dunham Woods Riding Club, Wayne, Illinois.
After retiring to California and Massachusetts in 1993 and moved to Rancho Mirage in 1996. He enjoyed tennis, golf, and flying.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Ann Evans of Greenwich CT.
After cremation, remembrances of his life will be held at a future date in Chatham MA, according to his wishes