Roberta “Mom” “Grandma” Cunningham was born on August 6, 1931 in Anthony, Kansas. The daughter of Glenn and Anna (Courtright) Taylor, she joined her older brother, Keith as the two children of the family.
As a young child, Roberta’s family purchased farm ground just outside of Caldwell. This is where she derived her love for animals which included, her horse “Major”, the farm dogs, all the cats and even the cattle. Ah yes, the cats! Roberta attended a one room school house several miles from the farm and would ride her horse to and from school. When Roberta neared her teenage years, the family moved into Caldwell where she attended Caldwell Schools, graduating with the Caldwell High School Class of 1949.
During her senior year, she met a young sailor, Adrian Cunningham. He had returned to his hometown to visit family and friends as WWII was winding down. During their short romance, her father questioned, jokingly, if the 10 year age difference would cause problems. As they obviously ignored his observation, their romance progressed quickly and they were married on May 26, 1949.
Adrian’s first assignment with the United States Postal Service took them to Kansas City, Missouri where they stayed a short time before being transferred to Wichita, Kansas, where they spent the rest of Adrian’s working career. They were blessed with two children, Randy in 1950, and Sherri in 1953. During their time in Wichita, Roberta was employed by USD 266 school food services. Her real job however, was taking care of her husband and children.
In 1977, their retirement led them back to Caldwell, their childhood home. Happy to be back in their hometown, she made many new friends and reacquainted herself with old friends. She loved her time walking the streets of Caldwell with her “besties” as they visited about anything and everything. She also loved gardening, helping others, and just being nice to everyone. She was so kind hearted that stray cats would find their way to her back door to be fed and petted. The strays would pass the word around to other homeless cats and a small colony of 12 – 15 cats formed. She religiously fed and cared for these cats until the day she passed.
Roberta died unexpectedly but peacefully on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 in her childhood home next to her husband of 73 years. She will be missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandson Jonathan Dunn, and brother Keith Taylor.
She is survived by her husband of 73 years, Adrian Cunningham; son Randy Cunningham and wife Carol, daughter, Sherri Dunn; grandchildren Phillip Dunn, Jennifer Hoff and husband Chad, Rebekah Henderson and husband Joey, Holly Dochow and husband Cody, Abby Swank and husband Caleb, Ross Cunningham and wife Diann; great grandchildren, Nathan Hoff, Josh Hoff, Luke Hoff, Anna Hoff, Kael Henderson, Malachi Henderson, Xander Henderson, Taytum Dochow, Henley Dochow, and Grey Swank.
Graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at the Caldwell City Cemetery, Caldwell, Kansas with luncheon to follow at Sugar Sisters, 20 S. Main, Caldwell, Kansas 67022.
Memorials may be made to the Wellington Humane Society or to Good Shepherd Hospice and sent in care of the mortuary.