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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, November 03, 1983

OBITUARY - W. B. (WILLIAM BURL) CUNNING

W. B. CUNNING, son of W. W. and Mamie CUNNING, was born June 28, 1908 on a farm west of Bedford, Iowa. He entered the Ringgold County Hospital on Oct. 11, 1983, and died Oct. 25, 1983 at the age of 75 years. He was the second oldest of six children.

He grew up in the Clearfield community and graduated from high school there in 1926. On Sept. 1, 1927, he came to Mount Ayr from Clearfield where he had been working for Morgan and Abbott Insurance Company, and was employed by F. E. SHELDON and Company. At that time he was taught to keep the books and learned to abstract. That continued until 1931 at which time Mr. LESAN gave him the responsibility of the insurance business. In this same time frame the company was having considerable trouble due to the depression. Loans that had been made through the agency with different insurance companies and several banks needed to be examined. It was his job to make reports to all companies as to the conditions of the loans. The situation continued until the early 40's at which time they went into the farm management business.

W. B. bought his first interest in the business in 1934. The company was then known as the F. E. SHELDON and Company. F. E. SHELDON retired and sold his business to W. B. CUNNING and Clyde LESAN on April 1, 1937. In 1960 (?) the W. B. CUNNING Company was formed and continued to Jan. 1, 1937 (?) when he incorpated (sic) the business. On July 1, 1957 W. B. CUNNING sold all of his stock to Dan CUNNING and Joel McCLURE and went to work on a salary for the W. B. CUNNING Company, Inc. and continued to be active in the business until his death. He represented the Iowa National Mutual and Hartford Insurance Companies for over 50 years.

On June 17, 1933 he married Irene DOLECHECK. To that union were born two children, Dr. Joe D. and Dan W.

Irene preceded him in death in 1975.

In 1977 W. B. married Dorothy MEYER and was divorced one year later.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Irene.

In addition to his sons, Joe D. of Wilmington, Delaware, and Dan W. of Mount Ayr, Iowa, he is survived by his daughters-in-law, Judith of Mount Ayr, and Patricia of Wilmington; four grandchildren, David and Stacy of Mount Ayr, and Lisa and Nancy of Wilmington. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Thelma RITCHIE of Lenox, Dorotha GROSSMANN of Orange City, Iowa, Cecile BARRON of Austin, Texas, Dwight CUNNING of Mount Ayr, Iowa, and Duane CUNNING of St. Joseph, Missouri.

W. B.'s life can be characterized with three thoughts: "community", "fun", and "energy." He had a zest for his community. He enjoyed the relationships with people in various community activities. He brought significant leadership to every organization he was involved with. In all organizations with which he was affiliated he was interested to make sure that it was operated on a sound financial basis. He belonged to the following organizations: the Mount Ayr Community Improvement Club, the Soil Conservation District, Shelby-Grundy Experimental Farm, Industrial Development Corporation, Ringgold County Fair Association, Faith Lodge 179, Mount Ayr Golf and Country Club, and the First Christian Church. He was an active member in the Iowa Independent Insurance Agents Association and he was a realtor. He served the Judicial Nominating Committee for the state of Iowa. He eagerly took contining (sic) education in his chosen field annually through spring of 1983 and only very recently relinquished his realtor's license at his own insistence.

He had a great sense of fun. He loved to take vacations with his family and especially like to plan those vacations. He loved athletics, particularly football and golf. He loved almost every kind of card game, particularly bridge. He loved a practical joke, either on himself or others. If there was fun around, W. B. wanted to be a part of it.

To his community activities and to his fun activities he brought a lot of energy. W. B. believed in walking fast, talking fast, playing hard, working hard and he challenged those around him to do the same.

A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, 1983 at the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr, Iowa. The services were led by pastors Doris and Phil KINTON, and former pastor David BARNES of North English. Music was by Mike GREENE and Collus LAWHEAD. Honorary pallbearers were Neil CHICKEN, ROyce DAVIS, Frank CLARKE, John WARIN, F. E. McNEILEY, Jack ELLIOTT, Dr. Duane MITCHELL and Vance GEIGER. Casketbearers were Craig ELLIIOTT, Dick WEEHLER, Joe McCLURE, Don SOLLIDAY, Michael WARIN and Phil BURNEISTER.

Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery at Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, July of 2010

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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