Robert A. "Buck" Cunningham, age 65, of Mount Gilead, died unexpectedly on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at his home following a brief illness.
On January 5, 1947, Buck was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the only son of four children of the late William ""Bill"" and Warda (Kempton) Cunningham. A lifelong resident of Morrow County, he attended Mount Gilead schools.
Leaving school early to work, Buck started with Buzz Campbell changing tires at the Sinclair Station. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted to serve his beloved country in the U.S. Navy, a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Upon his honorable discharge, Buck returned home to continue doing body work on automobiles for Bailey's Car Dealership in Edison, and Bob Trout's Collision Repair in Edison and Mount Gilead. He then went on his own, running The Exhaust Shop in Edison for over 20 years. Lastly, in the mid 1990's he went to work at the Capital Theatre, becoming manager in 1998, where he remained until just a few days prior to his passing. He was endearingly known as ""the grumpy old man at the theater"", and was very excited for his retirement party that was to be held in his honor on his 66th birthday.
When Buck put his mind to doing something, he always went all out. Recently, he became passionate about gardening, planting as many vegetables as he could, and being very proud of his crops. He was looking forward to diving into many more projects upon his retirement, such as restoring vintage cars and antique tractors, woodworking to make unique style canes, and even painting.
Finding value in most everything, Buck was an avid collector of many things, having ""every tool known to man"", car parts to all makes and models of cars and trucks, and thousands of movies and books.
Proud of his service, Buck was an active member of the AmVets Post 87 in Mount Gilead and served with the Morrow County Veterans Color Guard for many years.
Having golfed back in high school, Buck continued his love of golf throughout his entire life, golfing with his high school buddies and grandson as often as he could.
To say Buck was strong in his thoughts and opinions would be an understatement, as it was his way or no way. ""He saw everything in black and white."" Nevertheless, he was always there for you trying to help any way he could.
Most important of all to Buck were his grandchildren, as he cherished every moment spent with them and always taking them out to the movies.
Buck will be dearly missed by his two daughters: Mindy (Andy) Osborne of Cardington, and Amy Landis of Columbus; five grandchildren: Ian and Allyson Snyder, Gregory and Zane Osborne, and Tyler Landis; three sisters: Rose (Steven) Paver of Lehigh Acres, FL, and Gloria Cunningham and Carol (Don) Holtrey, both of Mount Gilead; a longtime friend and companion, Judy Ziemianski, and her children: Henry and David Ziemianski; and Henry‚s daughter, Alex; numerous nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
Buck's family greeted friends from Monday, January 7, 2013, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life were also held there on Tuesday, with Celebrant Don Lockwood officiating. Military honors provided by the AmVets Post 87 and V.F.W. Post 8054 immediately followed his services at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the AmVets Post 87 and Morrow County Veteran's Services offices, and they may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve Buck's family. To read his full obituary and express your private condolences to his family visit www.snyderfuneral homes.com.
Published in The Morrow County Sentinel on Jan. 9, 2013