Bill J. Cunningham, 86, WaKeeney, died Saturday, June 8, 2019 in WaKeeney, Kansas. He was born March 21, 1933 in rural Canton, Kansas to Ray and Myrtle (Bacon) Cunningham and attended grade school in Canton, McPherson and Bennington, KS. Following school he went directly to work at his Aunt & Uncle’s farm in Bennington for several years before moving to WaKeeney where he worked with his brother –in-law Clayton Brown doing construction. He then took a job driving a water truck until he entered the Army in January 1956. He was stationed at Fort Richardson, United States Army in Anchorage, Alaska, where he was part of the cross country ski patrol.
On December 27, 1957 in Lawton, OK he married the love of his life Norma Lee Berschauer. They renewed their wedding vows in the presence of their children and grandchildren 55 years later on December 27, 2012. His beloved wife preceded him in death on November 8, 2015.
Bill had various jobs and trades that he learned on his own. These included operating heavy equipment, welding, farming and doing mechanic work. He was a hard worker and meticulous for anyone who gave him the opportunity. He had great pride in his accomplishments which included helping build Interstate 70, Milford Reservoir (the largest man-made lake in Kansas) and Cedar Bluff Reservoir. He enjoyed his friends while working at Malsom Terracing Co. and The Allied Corp. After retirement he kept busy helping his son at TJ’s Alignment in any way he could and delivered cars as needed.
Bill loved working with Norma in their huge vegetable garden and chatting with his friends at the WaKeeney Eagles Lodge. He had a great sense of humor and was always ready to share a good story. After retirement he traveled with his family on various cruises and vacations. In his later years he delighted in joking with his sister Dee, teasing his grandchildren and watching his grand-dog Bandi. He truly enjoyed wearing his favorite hat while driving a daily route around WaKeeney in his red Dodge pickup.
Survivors include three sons; Rick Cunningham and wife Nancy (Durler), Ellis, KS, Terry Cunningham and his dog Axel, WaKeeney, KS, and William Cunningham and wife Dawn (Dubach) Ellis, KS, two daughters; Becky Oller and husband Paul, WaKeeney, KS and Janet Durheim and husband Steve, Ellis, KS, sister; Verla Dee Robinson, WaKeeney, KS, Ten grandchildren; Jena Stunkel (Pfannenstiel) and husband David, Briana Towner (Oller) and husband Michael, Travis Elder, Sara Nations (Cunningham) and husband Chris, Eric Cunningham and wife Sarah, Matt Cunningham, Jamie Durheim, Emily Hiss (Durheim) and husband Michael, Derek Kvasnicka, and Sierra Cunningham, Six great-grandchildren; Kyliee Towner, Lola Stunkel, Ruby Stunkel, Oliver Hiss, Shelbie Towner and Rose Cunningham.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers; Richard (Dick) Cunningham, Eldon Cunningham, and Sam Cunningham, sisters; Betty (Sis) Brown and Peg Sinning, grandson; Jeffrey Cunningham.
Graveside service will be held Friday July 5, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Kansas Veteran’s Cemetery, WaKeeney, KS.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Trego County Lemke Memorial Hospital or WaKeeney Eagles Lodge in care of Brock’s-Keithley Funeral Chapel, 2509 Vine St., Hays, KS 67601.