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Published: Monday, 7/6/2009

Marine veteran was avid volunteer

Mark E. Cunningham, a Point Place resident who worked tirelessly over several decades as a volunteer for his church and for civic groups to which he belonged, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Friday at the Hospice of Northwest Ohio's Perrysburg Center. He was 80.

Though called a bulldog by some of his former co-workers because of his hard work ethic, Mr. Cunningham was a Marine Corps veteran who kept family members amused with his laughter and a twinkle in his eye, according to his daughter, Carol Annesser.

"He was a very modest man. He had a very dry sense of humor," she said.

Mr. Cunningham, a 1946 graduate of Central Catholic High School, loved to socialize and be a contributor to his community. But he insisted on maintaining a low profile, his daughter said.

"My dad was extremely hard-working. He always went above and beyond," she said.

At the Ottawa River Yacht Club, he was a life member and a past recipient of "Rear Commodore" status, the club's humorous way of congratulating him for doing so much work for it outside of the limelight.

"The joke is my Dad did not have a boat," Ms. Annesser said, explaining that he loved the yacht club for its camaraderie.

Mr. Cunningham was a supervisor for Canteen Service for 33 years until retiring in 1990. He also was once an employee of The Blade and Kieswetter Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.

He and his wife of 59 years, Pat, who preceded him in death two years ago, were members of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Mr. Cunningham was an usher there for more than 40 years and volunteered in many other capacities.

Mr. Cunningham also was active with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, and the World War II Memorial Society.

He coached youth football for St. John the Baptist Elementary School, winning the 1962 "Toy Bowl."

In addition to his daughter, Carol Annesser, Mr. Cunningham's survivors include sons, Mark and Michael Cunningham; a sister, Mary Scott; six grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at David R. Jasin Funeral Home Inc., 5300 North Summit St.

The funeral will begin with prayers at the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a 10 a.m. Mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at North Summit and 124th streets.

The family requests that any contributions be made to Central Catholic High School or St. John the Baptist Maintenance Fund.

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