Glenn D. Cunningham | 1912 - 2014 | Obituary

Glenn D. Cunningham  
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Glenn D. Cunningham

Born: December 06, 1912
Died: February 03, 2014

U.S. VeteranThe Cunningham family is sad to announce the passing of Dr. Glenn D Cunningham Sr., on February 3, 2014. He died peacefully at home in West Chicago, Illinois. He has resided there the past five years in the loving care of his two daughters, Sheila Cunningham and Colleen King and his three grandsons, Nolan, Kevin and Logan King.

Glenn was born on December 6, 1912, to John Joseph (JJ) and Mary Anne Boyle Cunningham in Sacred Heart Parish, Rock Island, Illinois. JJ was from Straleel, Carrick, Donegal, Ireland and Mary Anne Boyle from Watertown, Minnesota (family from Ireland).

Glenn graduated from St Joseph's High School, Rock Island, in 1930. In addition to his studies there, he also enjoyed an eventful sports life. He played right-end on the football team, he was a gymnast, and he summered as a golf caddy.

After St. Joseph’s, he entered St. Ambrose College (now St. Ambrose University), Class of 1934, where he majored in Pre Med. In college, he continued his sports interests, as a member of the football team (tight end), golf team and tennis team.

After St. Ambrose, Glenn attended the St. Louis University School of Medicine, Class of 1938, and he then completed an Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat internship at St. Louis University Hospital.

Following his internship, Dr. Cunningham volunteered for the US Army in 1940, and he was assigned to Fort Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan. That fall he participated in the Arkansas - Louisiana maneuvers where he reported to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, whom he met years later as a golf partner while on vacation.

From 1942 to 1944 he served at Ft Sheridan (Chicago), Fitzsimmons Hospital (Denver), and Fort McCoy (Wisconsin, where he received overseas training).

During his Fort Sheridan service, Glenn married Grace Kinnavey on December 27, 1943, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa. She was the love of his life and the devoted mother of their six children.

In April, 1944, he was shipped off to the World War II Pacific Theater. He served on several South Pacific Islands, including New Guinea and Biak Island, where he was assigned as Chief of Chest, Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat for the 132nd General Hospital MASH unit. In January 1946, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Major.

After the Army, Glenn returned to his wife and family in Davenport. He set up a private Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat medical practice, and he was a member of the Medical Staff at St. Luke Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Davenport and at St Anthony Hospital in Rock Island. He was also a life member of the Iowa-Illinois Medical Society. In 1965, he served as president of the Society.

After thirty years of medical practice (which he considered a labor of love), Dr. Cunningham retired in 1982. Retirement kept Glenn as busy as ever. He continued to play golf at the Rock Island Arsenal course and at Duck Creek Park on the Seniors teams (where, on occasion, he could be forced to humbly recall his recorded hole-in-one and a few eagles).

In addition to golfing, he enjoyed running. He ran Davenport’s Bix 7 race twice in his eighties. He was an ardent Cardinal baseball, Iowa Hawkeye, and Notre Dame football fan. He also honed his bridge skills several nights a week for twenty years, alongside Bridge Masters.

Throughout his retirement, Glenn continued to express his faith through serving others. He volunteered at CASI, chauffeuring senior citizens to medical and other appointments. He delivered dinners provided by the Meals On Wheels program and Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners provided by St. Anthony’s Parish.

Dr. Glenn was a life-long member of the Knights of Columbus (Fourth Degree), a past member of the Kiwanis and Lions Club, and he was a Eucharistic Minister at St Anthony's Parish for several years.

Glenn and Grace celebrated 41 years of marriage before Grace’s death in June 1984.

Friends will remember Dr. Glenn for his strong faith, his love of his family, his giving spirit, and his dedication to medical excellence. With the sadness of his passing, his children also wish to express their deep pride in his extraordinary character, grace and supreme example of a Catholic life well-lived.

Glenn Cunningham, Sr., is survived by his six children: Dr. Glenn Jr. (wife Sharon) of Guam; Michael (wife Linda) of Madison, WI; Sheila of West Chicago, IL; Dr. Sean (Dr. Carey Wimer) of Indianola, IA; Dr. Kevin (wife Jeanne) of Des Moines, IA; and Colleen King of West Chicago, IL. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. Clement P. of Rock Island, IL, eighteen grandchildren, six great grandchildren and sixteen nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, Glenn was preceded in death by his brothers Judge John B Cunningham and Msgr. Ambrose Cunningham, his sisters Madge Bernbrock and A. Cecelia Cunningham, his sister-in-law Mary Moore and his brothers-in-law William Bernbrock, Wilfred G. Moore, Rev. Raymond Kinnavey, nephew Bill (Wilfred II) Moore and nieces Angela Cunningham, Mary Beth Cunningham, Nancy Moore, and Patricia Moore.

Visitation Thursday, February 6th, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Countryside Funeral Home & Crematory, 950 South Bartlett Rd. (at Stearns Rd.) Bartlett. Funeral Friday 7:45 a.m. to Corpus Christi Church. Mass 8:30 a.m. Burial Mt. Calvary, Davenport, IA.

In lieu of flowers, he would prefer memorial contributions to the Carmelite Monastery in Eldridge, Iowa (17937 – 250th Street , Eldridge, IA 52748-9425), or Corpus Christi Church, 1415 Lies Road, Carol Stream, IL 60188 or St. Anthony Church, 417 Main St., Davenport, IA 52801.

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