CUNNINGHAM, Norman R., 85, of Reader, W.Va., died Friday, January 20, 2012 with his family at his side in Acuity Specialty Hospital in Bellaire, Ohio.
He was born to the late Clarence E. and Mary E. Riggs Cunningham on September 11, 1926 in Rymer, Marion County, W. Va.
He attended Pine Grove High School with the class of 1945, and was drafted at the age of 18 in 1944 into the 77th Infantry Division, U.S. Army. He became a member of the Army Air Corps and served during WWII until 1947 in various places in Japan, including Okinawa and Yokohama.
He married Martha Lou Brown of Piney, W.Va. on January 17, 1948. He reenlisted into the U.S. Air Force in 1951, and served in the Korean Conflict with the 2750 Medical Group in France. He then transferred into the 75th Transport Squadron. He left the Air Force as a sergeant in 1954. During the time period between his military services, he owned and operated a taxi cab service in the Pine Grove area. He retired from Consolidated Natural Gas in 1987 with over 35 years of service.
Norman enjoyed buying, selling and trading anything and everything, which garnered him the nickname of Mr. Haney by all who knew and loved him. He also operated a meat storage, cutting and wrapping business in Reader for many years.
During his service in the Korean Conflict, he attempted to save two young girls from drowning and were recognized by members of her community. He also received an award in the 70's from the American Red Cross for successfully resusitating a local Reader girl after a near drowning in Fishing Creek, close to the Cunningham Home.
Norman was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church of the Benton M. Lowe Post No. 81, American Legion of Pine Grove.
He was preceded in death by brothers Kenneth F. Clarence "JR" and Edward G. and B. Neil Cunningham; sisters Freda Cunningham and Geveva Thomas Artman.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Martha Lou Brown Cunningham; a son, Kevin (Carol) Cunningham; four daughters, Charlene (Kenneth Ice), Lou Ann (Steven) Lancaster, Christine (Michael) Mitchell, and Angie Irvin; a brother, Everett E. "Newt" Cunningham; a sister, Bonnie Jo Glasscock Tennant; 13 grandchildren and 15 great - grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2-8 p.m. on Monday at Palmer Funeral Home, Pine Grove, W.Va. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 11 a..m. a the Trinity United Methodist Church in Reader.
Interment in the Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Hastings, W.Va.
Online condolences may be expressed at palmerfuneral.com.