Jack Cunningham obituary | TheUnion.com

Jack Cunningham obituary

Memorial services for Jack S. Cunningham will be conducted at 4 p.m. Friday, June 2, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Grass Valley.

Mr. Cunningham died Saturday, May 13, in Grass Valley. He was 90.

He was born Nov. 14, 1915. He graduated from high school in Naylor, Mo., and attended many automotive/trade courses throughout the years in St. Louis, Mo. and College of Sequoias in Visalia. He worked as an automotive mechanic for about 45 years. He owned Cunningham’s Garage in Naylor and was part owner of a Ford dealership in Doniphan, Mo., prior to moving to California in 1959, where he was employed by Levine’s in Tulare. He attended many trade schools in heating and refrigeration, later qualifying for a Lifetime Teaching Certificate issued by the state of California at the age of 62. He taught at the College of the Sequoias and helped to establish a class for inmates at Corcoran State Prison, retiring at the age of 82.

In Missouri he taught many young men about auto mechanics and employed many of them in his garage. He served as mayor of Naylor, Mo., tax collector, fire chief and was briefly the marshall. He helped start the first Cub Scout troop, serving as Scout leader with his wife, Melba, as den mother. He also served 10 years on the school board, including two years as president. He was also instrumental in helping to get the first school gymnasium constructed, meeting with state and federal employees to obtain materials and funding. He served with a committee to help establish a youth camp in the foothills. He also served as deacon for many years at the First Christian Church of Naylor and was on the board of directors of the County Hospital in Doniphan, Mo. He was a member of the Elks Lodge in Tulare. He enjoyed fixing things and gardening.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Melba Cunningham of Sacramento; daughters Velva Joy Harris of Nevada City and Penny Lean Renaud of Sacramento; granddaughters Kimberly Murphy of Tampa, Fla., Melinda Renaud and Megan Renaud both of Fresno; grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Todd and Elena Cunningham of Pasadena, Texas; great-grandchildren, Ryan Murphy of Tampa, Fla., and Priscilla of Pasadena, Texas; sister, Helen Moutrie of St. Louis, Mo.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Jack Lynn Cunningham in Feb. 2005.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary.

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