Wayne Cunningham, 86, of Newton, passed away Monday, April 15, 2013, at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Grace United Methodist Church, Newton, with the Rev. Tim Pearce officiating. Burial will be in West Lawn Cemetery with military rites by Jasper American Legion Post 20. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today, April 17, at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Grace United Methodist Church. Crain Funeral Home, Newton, is in charge of the arrangements.
Wayne was born on Nov. 11, 1926, in Jasper County, the son of Leo “Bob” and Ethel (Williams) Cunningham. Wayne graduated from Newton High School in 1944 and joined the U.S. Navy in November 1944. He served as an electrician, third mate on the USS Antigone, a recovery ship that picked up and repaired P.T. boats in the Pacific Ocean. He was stationed in Hawaii. After an honorable discharge on June 30, 1946, he returned to Newton and married Rose Ella Roderick on Nov. 15, 1947, in Olney. She survives. Wayne worked for Norris Electric in Newton from 1947 to 1955 and for USI Chemical in Tuscola as a welder from 1955 until 1977. He then worked for CIPS in Newton as a welder from 1977 until his retirement in 1989.
Wayne was a member of the Shiloh School Board in Hume, that was instrumental in overseeing the construction of the New Shiloh Unit District School in 1969. He also was very proud of his 60-plus years as a member of the VFW and American Legion. He was also a member of the Effingham and Olney Moose Lodge, the Olney Elks, and the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton. Wayne and his wife, Rose, were owner/operators of the Dog-N-Suds in Newman, from 1961 until 1969. From 1968 until 1989, they owned and operated the Tastee-Freeze in Newton. In his retirement years, Wayne enjoyed traveling to Georgia to visit his grandchildren, golfing, playing cards and watching old western movies on TV.