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Theodore Harding "Ted" Cunningham


1940 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Theodore Harding "Ted" Cunningham Obituary
Theodore "Ted" Harding Cunningham

Phoenix - Theodore "Ted" Harding Cunningham died at Banner University Hospital, Phoenix AZ on June 18, 2018 as the result of complications following heart surgery. He was born in Lewistown, PA January 13, 1940, the only child of the late Theodore Miller and Hellen Mayer (Harding) Cunningham. Ted never married but is survived by his best friend and companion of many years, Mary Kay (Wetzel) Sullivan of Portland, Oregon. He is also survived by many first cousins and a host of friends.

Ted's approach to life was formed by his early associations with his church, the Boy Scouts and the Lewistown schools through academics, athletics, music and service to the community. He valued achievements attained through hard work and perseverance, believed in living a purposeful life, and had a firm commitment to the highest business and personal ethics. Those traits followed him throughout his life as shown by his business successes and his community service to the arts, music, historical organizations and charities.

He graduated from Lewistown High School where he lettered in soccer and track, was sports editor of the school paper and sang in the concert choir. He attended Penn State where he earned a freshman letter in soccer and sang in the glee club. Ted then transferred to Ole Miss where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance in 1961. While at Ole Miss he was a charter member of The Financier's Club, Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, The Chancellor's Committee of 100 and the Concert Singers.

Upon graduation he became a field examiner for the FDIC, and then joined Louisiana National Bank, Baton Rouge, LA where he completed their management training program. In 1965 he arrived in Phoenix to join the Arizona Bank with his career tracking the subsequent bank acquisitions ultimately becoming Bank of America from which he retired after 38 years of service in 2002. His banking career included tours as branch manager, national accounts officer, private banker and large commercial relationship manager.

Ted's community activities included serving as past President and Director of the University Club of Phoenix, past President and Director of the Phoenix General Hospital Foundation and President of the Arizona Chapter of the Ole Miss Alumni Association. He also served as a board member and officer of the Men's Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, the Scottsdale Symphony, the Arizona Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis, Treasurer and Board member of the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale and was a founding director and officer of Jazz in Arizona. He also served as a national officer of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and was appointed to sit on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Banking & Finance College at Ole Miss where he also appeared as a guest lecturer and teacher. He was elected to the Board of the Arizona Historical Society, was appointed by the mayor and city council to serve two terms as a member of the City of Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission where he chaired the Grants Committee for four years. He was an instructor at Rio Salado Community College and received a graduate degree in 1985 from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

Ted was a life-member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Lewistown, PA, the Mifflin County Historical Society, The Huntington County Historical Society and the Ole Miss Alumni Association. He was a long-time member of the Arizona Country Club till 2004, the Arizona Science Center, the National Civil War Preservation Trust, the Heard Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. Ted's life-long passion for jazz music resulted in his large collection of recordings in all media, books and art which will be donated to the Los Angeles Jazz Institute.

As per Ted's wishes no services or memorials will be held. Ted will be inurned in the Harding-Cunningham family plot in Mt Rock Cemetery, Lewistown PA at a later date. Please make any contributions in Ted's name to the following charities: The Arizona Humane Society, 1521 West Dobbins Road, St Mary's Food Bank, 2831 N 31st Avenue, or The Salvation Army, 2701 E Van Buren.
Published in The Arizona Republic from July 13 to July 15, 2018
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