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Shirley E. Cunningham

Keene, N.H. — Shirley E. Cunningham, 95, a resident of Keene, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, following a period of declining health.

She was born June 25, 1918, in Long Branch, N.J., the daughter of Warren Richard and Elizabeth Burtt Sears (Bombi). She was a 1936 graduate of Deering High School, in Portland, Maine., and went on to attend Simmons College in Boston. Shirley was very patriotic, due to the fact that her brother: Richard proudly served our Nation as a member of the United States Marines during World War II. She worked for many years as a Secretary at the Aquinas House at Dartmouth College, where she met many students and made lasting friendships.

Shirley was a woman who had a very strong faith and was a very devoted mother. She was happiest when she was with her family, especially at the Holidays, when she would make her famous Lobster Newburg or her delicious Spaghetti and Meatballs. She was also an avid sports fan especially the Red Sox. Shirley enjoyed being in the outdoors: whether she was sitting on her porch watching the birds, working in her gardens, walking along the beach, or simply enjoying a family cookout, she enjoyed being surrounded by nature.

She is survived by two sons, John J. Cunningham, III and his wife, Jane of Keene and Frank W. Cunningham and his wife, Susan of Orange, Calif.; two daughters, Shirley A. Aikens and her husband, Bob of Douglas, Ontario, Canada and Mary Elizabeth Agee and her husband, Bill of Napa Valley, Calif.; 14 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She is predeceased by her son, Richard F. Cunningham; her brother, Richard B. Sears; her first husband and father of her children, John J. Cunningham, Jr.; and her very special friend and extended family member, Monsignor William L. Nolan (Fr. Bill).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Bernard Church, 185 Main Street in Keene, on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at 12:30 p.m. Burial will follow in the St. Joseph Cemetery on Main Street in Keene. There will be no public calling hours.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Joseph Regional School, 92 Wilson Street, Keene, NH 03431 or to the Nurturing Network, which was an organization which she supported for more than 30 years, and was founded by her daughter: Mary Elizabeth. PO Box 1489, White Salmon, WA 98672.

The family wishes to express special thanks to the nurses and doctors at Emergency and ICU of Cheshire Medical Center who provided our mother such extraordinary care.

The Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court Street, Keene is assisting the family with these arrangements. This full obituary is also available at www.foleyfuneralhome.com.