Robert L. Cunningham, 70, of West Newton, PA passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2020, at his home with his beloved wife, Frances (Janey) Cunningham, his children Sarah, Suzanne and Nathan, and his loyal dog Chloe by his side. Bob was born October 19, 1949 in Madison, PA, to the late Robert M. and Jane Lawson Cunningham. He was a member of the Downtown Madison United Methodist Church. He was a graduate of the Sewickley Township High School and the former California State College, now California University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Education. He began teaching in the Yough School District in 1971. During his distinguished 36-year career, during which he was affectionately known as “Mr. C”, Bob taught at H.W. Good Elementary School, West Newton Elementary School and Lowber Elementary School, where he served as Head Teacher. Bob rounded out his teaching career at Yough Middle School where he taught 7th and 8th grade science before retiring in 2007. Bob had a love of science and history and, in particular, studied the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg. He passed on his passion to his children and grandchildren and to hundreds of his students during field trips to Gettysburg. He was an artist and an avid collector of antiques and oddities, and his home was filled with fascinating items that he collected during his travels or made from items picked during many of his adventures with Janey over the years. In addition to Janey, his devoted wife of 49 years, Bob is survived by his three loving children – Sarah Barczyk and companion James Cannon of Connellsville, PA, Suzanne Markle and husband David of Irwin, PA, Nathan Cunningham and wife Mary of Mt. Pleasant, PA and his grandchildren Rachel, Noah and Adam Barczyk, Sydney Markle, and unborn baby girl Cunningham. Bob is also survived by his sister Elizabeth Cunningham Maruca and brothers- and sisters-in-law Jerry and Cheryl Popovec, Ilona Mae and Vaughan Yenich, Michael and Kathy Popovec and Denny and Ann-Marie Popovec; several nieces and nephews, including special nephew Dave Robinson; and good friends and partners-in-crime Larry Amati and Linda Samm. Friends will be received on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 from 2 – 4 pm and 6 – 8 pm at the Beatty-Rich Funeral Home, Inc. Rt 136 in Madison, PA. A private service will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, August 20, 2020 with Rev. Robert Green officiating. A public graveside committal service will be held at 11:00 am at the Madison Union Cemetery in Madison, PA. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, masks must be worn during the visitation and social distancing protocols will be followed. The family would like to thank Dr. James Adisey, Dr. Terry Evans and staff and the staff at the Arnold Palmer Cancer Center for the compassionate and exceptional care that Bob received over the past 12 years. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center: Development Office, UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Suite 1B, 5150 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, or to the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association at gbpa.networkforgood.com or mail to GBPA, PO Box 4087, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Ronald A. Rich Jr. Supervisor/FD.
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