Obituary of Thomas, Tom, Tommy Cunningham
December 20, 2017
Thomas, Tom, Tommy Cunningham passed away on December 16, 2017.
Thomas, Tom, Tommy Cunningham was born in Oxnard, California on December 6, 1951 to Floyd and Adele Cunningham. He was not due for a couple more months, but beat the odds. None of his difficulties prevented Tom from having a normal childhood. He walked the neighborhood, went to school and camp, and really enjoyed going for Sunday drives. The doctors said he probably would not survive to his teens and certainly not to adulthood. He showed them! He just celebrated his 66th birthday.
Tommy learned Braille in kindergarten. His dad transcribed Golden Books so that he could have his own books. He was a voracious reader until his hands would not allow it. By then books on tapes and audio books existed, so he continued reading, enjoying biographies and history. He attended public schools, except for one year at the Foundation for the Junior Blind in Los Angeles, graduating from Oxnard High School in 1972.
After graduation, and the passing of his parents, he had a series of caregivers. He left the family home and eventually moved to Grass Valley near his sister in Nevada City. He had a full life. Working out five days a week, going out to eat, for coffee, and for walks. As his body began to fail him, his mind was still sharp. He had a song quote for every occasion! Being in a wheelchair didn't slow him down. His 24/7 caregivers from Interim HealthCare, and his whole care team gave him a full and healthy life.
He was fan of all kinds of music, theater, and movies. InConcert Sierra, Music in the Mountains, Center for the Arts, Celtic Festival, World Fest, CATS, Sierra Stages, Off Broad Street, and movies filled his calendar. When he was younger he played trombone and taught himself piano, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Tom is survived by his sister Susie and brother-in-law Dave Bavo; adored nieces, Polly Lent and Nicole Bavo and their children.
There will be a Celebration of Life at a later date. Donations in his name may be made to Hospitality House or InConcert Sierra.
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