The Obit For Larry Cunningham

Lawrence Cunningham

Published in Naples Daily News on November 27, 2009

Dr. Lawrence Henry Cunningham, 81, a 40 year Naples resident, passed away Wednesday, November 25, 2009.

Larry was born in Winni peg, Canada to Mabel and Richard Cunningham. His family moved to Highland Park, MI in 1938 where he graduated from high school.

After attending Highland Park Junior College, Larry played minor league baseball in the Philadelphia athletics system.

During the Korean War Larry served in the Marine Corps as a rifle instructor. Upon discharge he continued his education, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from Eastern Michigan University and an Ed.D. from Michigan State University.

In 1955 he married Mary Manley of Flint, MI. Larry served as a Community School Director and an elementary principal in the Flint school system.

In 1969, the Cunningham family moved to Naples, FL where Larry was principal of Gulfview Middle School, Lake Park and Naples Park Elementary Schools. He retired from Collier County Schools in 1991.

Larry was a dedicated educator, and when he wasn't at school, he was often found on his favorite golf course, the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club.

An excellent amateur golfer, he won numerous city, county and regional championships. Larry was the PGA Senior Amateur Champion of South Florida in 1997. He was a member for many years of the Greater Naples Golf Association.

He was also a proud member of the DewSweepers.

Larry was a parishioner at St. Ann Catholic Church and active in community affairs.

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Naples for 20 years and served as president. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Collier County Principals Association, YMCA Board of Directors, Youth Haven Board of Directors among others.

Surviving him are his wife of 54 years, Mary Cunningham; his children, Mary Jo and Jack Elliott (Pittsburgh, PA), Susan and Samuel Castleberry (Naples, FL), Lawrence "Bubba" and Tina Cunningham (Tulsa, OK), Tom and Emily Cunningham (Wellington, FL); grandchildren, Laura, Eric and Emily Elliott, Samuel and Joseph Castleberry, Matthew, Michael, John and Sarah Cunningham, Madeline and Jack Cunningham; and his brother, Richard Cunningham (Naples,FL).

He also leaves his extended family; Frank Manley, Pat and Jill Manley, Jerry and Nancy Keidel; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition, Larry will be lovingly remembered by his students, colleagues, friends and respected by all who knew him.

Visitation will be held Sunday, November 29, 2009 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Fuller Funeral Home on 1625 Pine Ridge Road.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Ann Catholic Church on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 9:30 a.m., immediately followed by a reception in the parish hall.

Memorial contributions in Larry's honor will be gratefully accepted by the Alzheimer's Support Network 660 Ninth Street North, Naples, FL 34102 and St. Ann Catholic Church 475 Ninth Ave. South Naples, FL 34103.