I feel a strong immortal hope,
which bears my mournful spirit up beneath its mountain load;
redeemed from death, and grief, and pain,
I soon shall find my friend again within the arms of God.
- charles wesley
MATTHEW JAMES CUNNINGHAM Passed away on Sunday, December 2, 2001 at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, California. He was born on September 30, 1975 in Butler, Pennsylvania, the son of Patricia Sloan and James Cunningham both of Butler, Pennsylvania. He was a 1994 graduate of Butler Area Senior High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society, the varsity tennis team, and active in intramural sports. He was also listed in Who's Who of American High School Students. After graduation from high school, he attended Penn State University where he received a B.S. Degree in Environmental and Renewable Resource Economics in 1999 and was a Dean's List student. He was a recipient of the William T. Butz Memorial Award and the Cease Memorial Scholarship. He was active in the Environmental Economics Club, Eco-Action, and the PSU Students Adopt-A-Highway programs while at Penn State. During the summers he worked at North Pittsburgh Telephone Company. He was also a volunteer fireman with the Lyndora Volunteer Fire Company. After graduating from Penn State, he attended the University of California Davis Law School in Davis, California. He volunteered for the Employment Law Center and the Earth Island Institute in San Francisco. He was an accomplished guitarist and songwriter. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister, Jennifer Walker, of Oakland, California, his stepfather, Gregory Sloan of Butler, his stepmother Jeanette Cunningham of Butler, his maternal grandmother, Madeline Esper of Butler and his paternal grandmother, Kathleen McBride of Butler, a brother-in-law, Darcel Walker of Oakland, California, two step sisters, Lisa Hyatt of Butler, Yvonne McAvoy of Butler, a step brother, John Jenkins of Butler and several other relatives. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Charles Esper and paternal grandfather, James Cunningham both of Butler. Matthew loved nature and memorial contributions can be made to an environmental organization of the donor's choice. Friends are invited to a Memorial Service at Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County, on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2:00 p.m. CHAPEL OF THE CHIMES OAKLAND (510) 654-0123 "Service of Marked Distinction"
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Published in ANG Newspapers on Dec. 6, 2001.