MARION W. CUNNINGHAM, age 92, passed away at The Commons on St. Anthony on Monday, June 15, 2020.
Marion was the daughter of Harry A. Warrick and Ruby Hoffman Warrick. Born on November 12, 1927, she was raised an only child after an infant brother died six years earlier. Marion lived her entire life in Auburn, NY.
She was preceded in death by an infant brother in 1921, her mother in November, 1941 and her father in August, 1951.
Marion was a 1946 graduate of Central High School. As an East High student in 1943, she was awarded First Prize in Auburn’s Community Chest poster contest. In her retirement years, she found the time to learn to paint.
As a young teenager, Marion sent a letter to famed actress Ruth Warrick (Ruth was cast as Emily Monroe Norton in Orson Welles’ 1941 Citizen Kane and later as Phoebe Tyler in ABC’s long-running All My Children) asking if they might be related. Supposedly they were. Ruth sent Marion a letter saying they were second cousins; Marion was thrilled.
Marion H. Warrick married John F. “Tucker” Cunningham on September 5, 1953.They lived the next fifty-six years at 21 Fourth Avenue, raising four children in the process, until Tucker’s death from Alzheimer’s on August 28, 2009.
As an expectant mother with her first child, Marion took up sewing, making her own maternity clothes. She continued to sew throughout her life, making dresses for her two daughters as they grew and eventually designing and sewing their wedding gowns as well.
After her fourth child, Thomas, was enrolled in elementary school, Marion returned to work at the New York Telephone Company in Auburn until her retirement in 1987. She worked several years in a row without missing a day of work, even with her daily commute to Geneva in the final few years.
Marion loved to travel. In their early family years, the Cunninghams enjoyed camping vacations as far south as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and north into Maine and Montreal, Canada, as well as many short camping trips to Bowman Lake State Park in Oxford, New York.
Marion and Tucker celebrated their 25th Silver Wedding Anniversary with a scenic cross-country Canadian train trip from Toronto, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia and their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary with an Alaskan cruise.
On a cold Saturday morning in early April 1987, following Tucker’s retirement from ALCO and Marion’s retirement from the New York Telephone Company, they set out on a long cross-country road trip towing their popup camper. They ventured to the southern states and the southwest, to California, to the northern states and into Canada, returning to Auburn after more than 12,000 miles.
The adventure sparked their interest for adopting the snowbird life. Each fall until Tuckers’ decline in health forced them to stay in Auburn, they headed to Arcadia, FL, where they enjoyed a leisurely lifestyle and made many lifelong friends, returning home to Auburn in the spring.
Marion had the pleasure of wrapping up her travel adventures with a 2010 Hawaiian cruise with her daughter and son-in-law, Claire and Gary Wildner, visiting Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai, with a highlight of the trip being a helicopter tour of this Garden Island. The pilot requested Marion sit up front with him. Best view from the helicopter.
Marion is survived by four children: Martin (Carol) Cunningham; Claire (Gary) Wildner; Marcia Cunningham (Daniel Drew); and Thomas Cunningham. Also, four grandchildren: Brian Wildner; Kevin Wildner; Sarah Stebbins (Charles Joyner); Rachael Stebbins Trissel; and four great-grandchildren: Michael, Abigail, Samuel, and Daniel Trissel.
Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.
Those who wish to do donate, please consider First Presbyterian Church 112 South Street, Auburn NY 13021, where Marion was a lifelong member or to Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY, 41 York Street, Auburn NY, 13021 https://www.flspcaofcny.org/take-action
Arrangements are with White Chapel Funeral Home Inc. Auburn
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