Michael J. Cunningham Sr.
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Michael J. Cunningham Sr.

Age: 82 • Williston, VT

Michael J. Cunningham Sr., 82, of Williston, Vermont passed away peacefully after a long illness at the University of Vermont Medical Center on Sunday, January 3rd, 2016.

He was born on May 22nd, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York to Anna and Joseph Cunningham. He attended schools in the Brooklyn School system and after graduation he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard serving in Greenland during the Korean Conflict.

Mike married Viola Norton in Queens, New York on May 16th 1959. They raised four children in Hampton Bays Long Island, New York until moving to Vermont in 1971. Mike sold insurance for several years before working and eventually retiring from Cathedral Square Corporation. During that time he was the co-founder and executive director of the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS). Then, he co-founded and was the executive director of the Samaritan Connection. After his retirement he went on to become the pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church in South Burlington, Vermont where he retired from ministry on January 1, 2015.

In addition Mike held many volunteer positions to include: past president of the Kiwanis Club of South Burlington, past chairman of the Spiritual Aims Committee, Salvation Army Advisory Council (20 years), volunteer Chaplin at the Fanny Allen Hospital, first coordinator of J.U.M.P., as well as Co-founder of the Friendly Kitchen.

Mike loved spending time with family at gatherings as well as his grandkids school and sporting events. He enjoyed gardening, photography, and watching "critters" outside. Mike had a good sense of humor and his goofy jokes kept his family laughing often.

Mike will be remembered most of all for his love of Jesus Christ. His strong faith combined with his determination to share the good news to as many people as possible kept him busy writing sermons and stories. These writings offered much hope and comfort to many. His enormous concern for the salvation of everyone around him was demonstrated through his later years, even into the final days of his life. Mike had a true pastors heart and will be missed by everyone who was blessed to have known him.

Mike was predeceased by his parents Anna and Joseph as well as his two siblings Margaret and Joseph. He is survived by his wife Viola; his daughter Cathy, her husband John Simpson and their four children: Rosie, Keagan, and Finnegan of Cambridge, Vermont and Brendan of Richmond Vermont; his daughter Anne-Marie Cunningham, her husband Peter Cameron of Williston, Vermont and her three daughters: Sarah and her husband Jerry Williams of South Burlington, Vermont, Katie and her husband Luis Torres of Boston, Massachusetts, Mary and her husband Shawn Woodbury of Fort Collins, Colorado; his daughter Susie her husband James Roy and their two sons: Zachary and Michael of Fairfax, Vermont; his son Michael Jr. and his wife Veronica Cunningham and their seven children: Amanda, Jacob, Cheyenne, Nicole, Vanessa, Michael, and Jazmine of Richford, Vermont.

Calling hours for Mike will be on Friday January 8th from 4-7pm at Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home in Essex Junction, Vermont (9 Pleasant Street). The funeral service will take place on January 9th at 11am at the South Burlington Life Church (1451 Williston Road). In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Care Net Pregnancy Center, 56 Colchester Ave., Burlington, Vermont 05401 or American Heart Association, 110 Main Street, Suite 203, Burlington, Vermont 05401.

Visit burlingtonfreepress.com/obituaries to Express condolences and sign the guest book.




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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 6, 2016.
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Memories & Condolences
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25 entries
February 3, 2016
Don't ever forget; I'm already there! We'll never be apart and I love you so much.
January 19, 2016
Mike was one of the first pastors to congratulate me and support my efforts when I became the Director of Missions for the Green Mountain Baptist Association. I preached several times at New Covenant when he was the pastor there. I always enjoyed reading the stories he wrote and would send to me. Praying for his family.
Terry Dorsett
January 14, 2016
I pray for Mike's family! Rest and receive comfort in knowing that Mike is with his Savior Jesus Christ! I am sure that some of the first words that Mike heard as he entered into Glory land were " Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant!" Mike will surly be missed, He was so friendly and on fire for the Lord. I learned a lot from Mike! May God Bless his soul.
Chuck Hurdle
January 10, 2016
Mike obviously touched many people in many different ways. I knew him for several years when we both served in the South Burlington Kiwanis Club. I remember him as a quiet and kind gentleman, but also as a determined worker in the club whose previous experiences were invaluable to a service organization. I am very sorry to read of his passing. Condolences to his family. He was a good person.
Dick Shattuck
January 9, 2016
I am so sad to hear of Mike's passing. I really enjoyed working with him and and have missed not seeing him in the last few years. Mike had such great compassion and love for others, and will be so missed. I am traveling and will not be able to remember him at the funeral, but my thoughts and and prayers are with you.
Sarah Carpenter
January 8, 2016
Mike you were an amazing humanitarian and lived your walk through life in faith. Some people walk the lives of Angels on Earth and have such positive impacts on those they come in contact with. You were one of those people. God has called you home rest well and condolences to your family.
January 8, 2016
There are no words to describe what you have meant to our family (and so many others!) for all these years. More than once you have been our port in a storm and we all love you. While missing you on this earth, we know that you are finally in your true home and we will meet again one day. You will live on in all of our hearts. RIP Pastor Mike. The Maynard family in Vermont and Maine
January 8, 2016
My thoughts, prayers, and sympathy are with you at this difficult time. May the Lord be with you and surround you with his love.
Sharon LeGrand Maynard
January 7, 2016
Cathy, So sorry to read about the loss of your Dad. He was a special person and we always enjoyed visiting with him at your house. At least, we are all sure that he has indeed passed on to his rightful seat next to our Lord. Our blessings to you and all your family. He is in God's hands now.
Art & Melody Tobin
January 7, 2016
I don't know where or how to start this .. there is so much to say about Mike and the entire Cunningham family. There are so many memories .. remember my losing Adam and only to find that he had opened your front door, walked in and fell asleep on your couch?! That's how comfortable the Cunningham home was to my family. That New York family that was moving to our little Underhill street and we all wondered how they would fit in. Well...we were all instantly family! Vi, Cathy, Anne-Marie, Susie and Michael my heart is saddened by the loss of your wonderful husband and dad. But as difficult as it is for all of you, heaven is rejoicing and has received with open arms a good, honest and true man. Love and peace to the Cunningham family.
Selma Drew Gokey
January 6, 2016
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
January 6, 2016
Anne-Marie & Family, So sorry of your fathers passing. May all the wonderful memories of him help you during this difficult time.
Steve and Lynda Cameron
January 6, 2016
Cathy and family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your dad and grandpa is now your guardian angel and will always be watching over his family.

All of our love
Bethany and Jerry Harrington
Bethany & Jerry Harrington
January 6, 2016
To the family of Mike. I,m very sorry for YOUR loss.Mike so much to so many.His absents will be greatly MISSED.I should have kepted more in contact.Mike and I worked together well in the church and at The Samaritan Connection. After my wife Nancy passed I became a loner and didn't and couldn't face reality. Again SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.
Dick LaBelle
January 6, 2016
Death effects us all. Sorry for your sadness.
May the family have peace at this time. God will help you. -Psalm 94:19
January 6, 2016
I am sorry to read of Mike's passing. I got to know Mike when he was involved with COTS; and was I proud to have served on the COTS Board when he was the Director of the fine COTS organization. Mike had a smile that could light up any room, and a heart that was even bigger. Vermont has lost one of it's "good guys", and my life was made better for having the chance to know Mike. RIP old friend, save me a seat up there...
Rich Feeley
January 6, 2016
Family of Michael, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, it was a true blessing to have cared for and known Michael, he will be missed greatly.

The Staff of Green Mountain Nursing & Rehab.
January 6, 2016
Mike did more for the common good of Chittenden County than most people will ever realize and that is exactly the way he would have wanted it. Great job Mike in serving others, not only in ministering to folks the Word but also your dedication to helping those in physical need. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful were the results of all your efforts. God bless you in eternity.
Brent Miller
January 6, 2016
Dearest Mike, you were the light in every ones eyes. You had such a strong relationship with the Lord, I know you are walking with Him right now. Until we meet again, I love you Beeb
January 6, 2016
Mike,Veronica,and family
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. I met him once when Mike was selling his home and I enjoyed his company.My prayers are with you as you remember the great times. Love Ruth
Ruth Murray
January 6, 2016
He will surely be missed! He was such a great man always wanting to help others, and he did just that. He had a servant's heart and a unique sense of humor. May you rest in peace now in the arms of Jesus.
Gina & Mike Sears
January 6, 2016
Mike was a good friend and a man we leaned on doing our jobs as nurses in the ED at Fanny Allen Hospital. RIP Michael.
Sally Nadon Pedley
January 6, 2016
Sarah, He sounds like an amazing man, I'm glad you had him in your life. He certainly passed on his amazingness to you. So sorry for you and your family.
Karen Kelley
January 6, 2016
So sad to hear of Mike's passing. He was such a dear friend and mentor. The heavens just got a grand angel.
HE is home now and I know based on his teachings I will see him again and look forward to that reunion. What I say about this man? My life was and is so blessed by having him as a friend.
To his family, my prayers go out to you and my the Lord touch your heart and mind to ease this time. My heart is broken today but happy knowing Mike is home.
Ed McGrath
January 5, 2016
Celebrate his life and remember all the good times he shared with friends and family.
Luis Torres
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