LaVerne “Junie” Cunningham Jr., 92, passed away at Dove Healthcare in Bloomer, Wis., on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
He was born in Walworth, Wis., on July 3, 1927, to LaVerne “Slim” and Hazel (Welch) Cunningham. He married Martha Mae Olds on July 3, 1950, in Ladysmith, Wis. Junie and Martha lived in the Walworth area until they moved north to Jump River, Wis., in 1953 to farm until 1988. While farming, the barn burned and he had to take a job building bridges. His grandchildren have fond memories of going with Grandma and Grandpa to “camp” while he was building bridges. In 1988, he became a caretaker at Camp Wahdoon, a Seventh-Day Adventist camp. In 1993, they moved to a farm in Chetek, Wis., and farmed with both sons and son-in-law. LaVerne loved working on the farm and he was the happiest when the family was all together.
He loved to have his children and grandchildren sit on his lap and eat pancakes on Sunday morning. His greatest love was his wife, Martha Mae. He loved her “a bushel and a peck and a hug around your neck,” and “talking in my sleep about you.” No one was a stranger; everyone was a friend. Junie had an infectious laugh that came from his belly and will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Martha; children Sandra (Doug) Magray, Debarah Shufelt, Perry (Rhonda) Cunningham, Robin (Deb) Cunningham and Patricia “Patty Jo” (Jack) Nelson; Melissa Briel; siblings Bill (Peg) Cunningham, Linda Cunningham, Frank Cunningham, Kenneth “Red” (Idella) Cunningham, Jack (Sandy) Cunningham and David Cunningham; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, LaVerne and Hazel; siblings Mary (Pete) Zemblowski, Larry “Pie” (Pat) Cunningham, Joan (Dick) Brown, Herb (Linda) Cunningham and Betty (Ken) Nichol; sister-in-law Lorreta Cunningham; sons-in-law Monte Shufelt and Dan Briel; and grandson David Briel.
There will be private family services in July with a celebration of life held later in the summer. Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer is assisting the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.olsonfuneralhomebloomer.com.