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Raymond G. Cunningham

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Raymond G. Cunningham Obituary
Raymond G. Cunningham, 91, of Ambler, died of congestive heart failure on Thursday morning, May 8, 2014, at Artman Lutheran Home. He was born in Biggleswade, England, to the late Edith and George Alexander Cunningham. Ray and his parents emigrated to Yonkers, NY, in 1927 when he was about five years old. As a young adult, he graduated from Saunders Trades and Technical High School in 1940 after completion of a four year electrical technician program. Ray served in the U.S. Army during WWII, stationed in England, France, and Italy. While serving in the Army, Ray attended Shrivenham American University in England, where he met Gwen, his future wife. Besides taking various classes offered to American GI's on leave, a highlight of his time spent there was playing guitar in a popular dance band. After the war, Ray worked at Sperry Gyroscope while attending the Melville Radio Institute in New York. Ray and Gwen married on June 23, 1953, and moved to Philadelphia where he began working at Westinghouse. In 1956, they purchased their first house in Ambler and lived there for over 55 years before their move to Artman. As an audio engineer, some of Ray's early work involved TV "remotes" in places like the old Atlantic City Boardwalk and Steel Pier. In later years, Ray became the substitute audio engineer for the "Mike Douglas Show" when the regular engineer was on vacation. The KYW TV Channel 3 evening news programs (6 and 11 pm) over many years, working with reporters and anchors including Vince Leonard, Mort Crim, and Jessica Savitch, and others, provided Ray with fond memories of his career in TV news broadcasting. Throughout his life, Ray had a passion for amateur radio and was a Charter Life Member of the American Radio Relay League. His call letters were W3YBF and through ham radio, friends were made around the world. He built many radio components himself and was a regular attendee at "ham fests". Another lifelong interest was the music of jazz, especially the Big Band era of the 1940's. He listened to innumerable recordings of Stan Kenton and many, many other jazz musicians on an almost daily basis, sometimes playing along on the guitar, piano, or clarinet. During his later years especially, Ray enjoyed taking occasional day trips by car with his wife Gwen, both enjoying the countryside and stops at favorite eating establishments along the way, most notably Zoto's Diner in Line Lexington. Although a quiet and private person, Ray regularly kept in touch via letters with close friends in the US and extended family in England. He was always happy to see his daughters and their families during visits and share in their busy lives over a cup of tea and will be sadly missed by all. Ray is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Gwen; two daughters, Susan (David) Morgan of Ambler; Lynn (Andrew) Fahmy of Mansfield, Ohio; four grandchildren; Ben, Tim, Anna, and Mary Ruth Morgan. The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. David Becker of Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology and the nurses, aides, and staff of the 2nd floor Mt. Pleasant Avenue wing of Artman Lutheran Home for their loving and kind care of Ray. Although only in hospice care for about a week before his death, Ray and his family greatly appreciated the assistance of Life Choice Hospice and the help provided by their staff. A memorial service is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ray's memory may be made to Ambler Community Ambulance, 1414 E. Butler Pike, Ambler, PA 19002 in gratitude for their help or Wissahickon Fire Company, 245 Race Street, Ambler, PA 19002 who have rescued many other people. Arr. By Shaeff-Myers Funeral Home
Published in Montgomery Newspapers on May 14, 2014
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