Dorothy Frances Avery Cunningham


FORT MILL, S.C. — Dorothy Frances Avery Cunningham passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at home surrounded by her loving family, including her husband of 64 years, Bruce T. Cunningham, son Mark D. Cunningham and daughter Terri L. Cunningham.

Dorothy was born on August 19, 1931, in Vernon, N.Y. She graduated in 1949 from VVS High School and went on to work at Oneida Silver, where she worked with Peggy Cunningham who subsequently introduced “Dottie” to her future husband, Bruce. They married on March 28, 1953. They eventually moved to Clinton, Ill. and lived there for several years before moving to Rome, N.Y., due to Bruce’s job, which eventually took them back to Clinton, where he retired. In 2010, they decided to be closer to their daughter, so they uprooted once more to move to Carolina Lakes, Sun City, Fort Mill, S.C., only 15 miles from Terri’s home in Charlotte, N.C.

Dorothy’s priorities were always her husband and children. Considered the last of the great American housewives, one of the world’s best cooks, and a fierce, protective lioness by her family, she leaves an void in their lives that can never be filled. Her only other true passion was golf, which she didn’t start playing until she was 40 years old; she excelled at it and played every chance she got, right up until she became ill over three years ago. 

Even in her last few days of life, she could still tell you the month, year, and who she was playing with when she shot her first and only hole-in-one. Dorothy also loved baseball and was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, John Robert and Dora Burdick Avery, brothers John Robert and Richard, and sister, Virginia Avery Lewis. 

She is survived by her husband, Bruce; son, Mark and wife Pam of Clinton, Ill.; daughter, Terri, Charlotte, N.C.; sister, Emogene Corcoran, Verona, N.Y.; granddaughters, Amanda Jo and husband Natu Visinia, Clinton, Ill.; Jamie Cunningham, Bloomington, Ill.; three great-grandchildren, Leilani, Matai and Koa Visinia, Clinton, Ill.; along with several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at 3:30 p.m. on November 26, 2017, at Forest Hill Church, Charlotte, N.C. followed by a “Celebration of Life” at Terri’s home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Kindred Hospice, 223 S. Herlong Ave, Suite 120, Rock Hill, SC 29732 or American Cancer Society, 1901 Brunswick Ave., Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28207.

Cremation services were provided by Wolfe Funeral Home, Fort Mill, S.C.

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