Dr. D. Dean Cunningham
Darrell Dean Cunningham, M.D. age 94, of Springfield passed away at 5:52 a.m., Sunday, June 8, 2014 at his home in Springfield.
He was born April 2, 1920 in Butter Hollow (Benton County), Missouri, the son of Emmett Lee and Ella Drennon Cunningham. He attended high school in Warsaw, MO and was a 1942 graduate of William Jewell College. Dean joined the U.S. Navy and entered Aviation Training at Pensacola (Florida) Naval Air Station. After earning his wings he served in the New Hebrides Islands (South Pacific Theatre) Black Cat Squadron flying the PBY aircraft, which were referred to as the flying boats.
After the War, Dean was married to Olive Lucille Nichols, on July 11, 1947. He entered Johns Hopkins University College of Medicine that fall in Baltimore, MD. After his internship in Cincinnati, Ohio he moved his family to Springfield in 1952 and began his practice in the Springfield Medical Building (Booneville and Commercial) with Dr. Max Fitch. In 1986, he donated his practice to the Cox Residency Program and continued to practice and teach until retiring in 1990.
Dean was an avid Quail hunter. He spent as much time as he could at his beloved Bright Elbow Lodge on Elbow Creek of Bull Shoals Lake. He continued to water ski well into his late 70's. He also managed to operate two working farms of over 500 total acres near Halltown and Battlefield, MO. He treasured taking his grandchildren along with him.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Olive who passed away Oct. 20, 2004, infant daughter, Leesa Jane and his sister, Vidah Lee Breshears and her husband Quentin.
Dean is survived by his son, Dr. Richard (Cynthia) Cunningham; daughter, Beth Batson, all of Springfield; and daughter, Susan (Lyndon) Tummons of Willard, MO; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Elizabeth (Scott) Wente and son Leo; Spencer (Donna) Cunningham and son Oakes; Caroline Cunningham; Emily Batson and twin daughters Loralai and Abigail Batson-Rook; Brad (Amanda) Tummons and son Emmett; John Tummons; and Ben Tummons; sister-in-law, Ruby Smith of Springfield, MO; and cousin June Wathl of Warsaw, MO.
A private family graveside will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army, 1707 W. Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, MO 65802, or Ozarks Public Television, 901 S. National, Springfield, MO 65897.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the home healthcare providers which allowed Dr. Cunningham to remain in his home.
Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home
1947 E. Seminole Springfield, MO 65804
Published in the News-Leader from June 10 to June 15, 2014