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.
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