John Thomas Cunningham (Tom) was born September 19, 1934, in Perry Township, Boone County to John T. and Loris M. Johnson Cunningham. His family lived near Kern, Kirtley, and Herr Elevator where his dad was owner and manager.
He graduated from Perry Central High School and served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. He married Julia (Judy Corbly) in 1952. They celebrated their 70th anniversary this past June 15.
He farmed north of Lebanon and the 1965 tornado destroyed their house and barns. They rebuilt and he farmed over 70 years.
In addition to farming, he gave his time to Centenary United Methodist Church as chairman of many committees and trustee treasurer for over 20 years. He also helped with the Boone County 4-H Auction for over 40 years. He was President of the Lebanon Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He held memberships in Elks Club, Charter Member of the Witham Family YMCA, Ulen Country Club, Witham Hospital Association to build the new hospital, Indiana Soybean Board, Boone County Community Foundation, Lebanon Educational Foundation, an Agriculture Advisor to the Farmers Bank, John Purdue Club, Boone County Senior Services, and Meals on Wheels driver and Vice President. He was recognized as the Distinguished Farmer by the Feeders and Breeder’s Association and won the Boone County Farm Bureau Award.
After retirement from active farming, he became a “gofer” for the farm: always on call to take someone somewhere. He made over 30 flag boxes he gave to military families, over 100 stools for families’ and friends’ babies, Kleenex boxes and hand-held mirrors in his woodshop. He liked to play bridge, attend Purdue basketball games, family events, and activities.
Survivors include wife Judy, daughter Marcia (Alan) Wilhoite, daughter-in-law Beverly Cunningham, grandchildren Andrew Wilhoite, Aaron (Jessica) Wilhoite, Monica (Adam) Nagele, Madeline (Matthew) Young, Dr. Devin (Kevin) Kistler, Mallory (Cameron) Banks, and C. Chase (Courtney) Cunningham, and fourteen great grandchildren, and brother Dennis (Patti) Cunningham and six nieces and three nephews. Deceased: Son Dr. Mark Cunningham, brother Edwin and granddaughter-in-law Elizabeth Wilhoite.
Family and friends will gather Friday, September 30, for visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. in the Strawmyer & Drury Mortuary, 2400 N. Lebanon Street, Lebanon. Tom will be laid to rest with Military Honors at Oak Hill cemetery in Lebanon.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lebanon Rotary Club for Scholarships or the Boone County Senior Services.