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William L. Cunis

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William L. Cunis Obituary
William L. Cunis, 71, of Ashland, died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, of unexpected complications from multiple myeloma. A lifelong resident of Ashland, he attended Ashland schools and was a standout athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. He went on to Boston College, where he excelled in baseball. The Boston Red Sox sent him to play in the Basin League in South Dakota. He was a member of the B.C. teams of 1960-1961 that played in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Bill then signed with the Red Sox and went on to spring training. He was assigned to a minor league team, but opted to come home to be with his wife and new baby. He then began his 38-year career teaching in the Ashland Public School system, teaching social studies, and later, high school math. While at Ashland, he coached cross-country and led several teams to state championships. He was a serious distance runner himself, competing in numerous marathons, ultra-marathons, and the Mt. Washington road race. His best Boston Marathon time was 2:45. After his knees gave out from years of distance running, he took up bicycling. He was often seen riding throughout the MetroWest area on his daily long distance bike rides. From 1964 to 1986, he was the assistant baseball coach at Boston College under Eddie Pelligrini. Bill also coached basketball at Marian High School from 1966 to 1970, leading the team to a co-championship in the Catholic Central League in 1969. After Bill retired from teaching in 2001, he began a second career as a Hopkinton school bus driver for the Connolly Bus Company. He greatly enjoyed the time he spent with the young children on his bus route and with his co-workers, who were so kind to him during the final months of his illness. Bill was a man of great faith in God and he truly lived his faith in all aspects of his life. He was a daily communicant, and one of his greatest joys was visiting with and bringing communion to the sick and the elderly. Bill was devoted to his family. He was the son of Eleanor E. (Jean) Cunis and Anthony J. Cunis, who died in 2002. Besides his mother, he is survived by his wife of 49 years and childhood sweetheart, Mary Ann (Guarino) Cunis; his two sons, Michael A. Cunis and his wife, Myrle, of Ashland, and David W. Cunis and his wife, Michelle, of Holliston; his three beloved grandchildren, Nicole, Daniel and Matthew Cunis; his three brothers, Peter A. Cunis of Hopkinton, Brian W. Cunis and his wife, Ellen, of Amherst, N.H., and Dr. David J. Cunis and his wife, Eileen, of Campton, N.H. He was also the brother of Kathleen M. Cunis, who died in 1962. He leaves many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 9 a.m., at St. Cecilias Church, 54 Esty St., Ashland. Calling hours are Monday, Dec. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Matarese Funeral Home, 325 Main St., Ashland. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bills memory may be made to the St. Vincent DePaul Society, c/o St. Cecilias Church, 54 Esty St., Ashland, MA 01721.

Published in MetroWest Daily News on Dec. 18, 2011
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