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Mary Frances Cunningham

November 1, 1928 March 6, 2021
Mary Frances Cunningham
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Obituary for Mary Frances Cunningham

Mary Frances (Norton) Cunningham, 92, of Peoria, passed away Saturday, March 6, 2021 at her home.
Mary Fran was born November 1, 1928 in Bloomington, IL to John and Loretta (Walsh) Norton. She grew up in Bloomington and attended Holy Trinity Grade and High Schools. In her youth she was an accomplished golfer, including 1945 Bloomington Junior City Golf Champion. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University, where she met James Richard Cunningham. They married June 30, 1951 at Holy Trinity Church in Bloomington and enjoyed 53 years of marriage before Dick’s passing in 2004. She and Dick were blessed with 6 children and welcomed their spouses into the family as if they were their own.
Mary Fran was preceded in death by her parents, husband Dick, brother John Norton, and son-in-law Darrell Woolley.
She is survived by her children, Tim (Jan) Cunningham, Kathy (Vic) Rashid, Anne (Mark) Lucas, Julie (the late Darrell) Woolley, Tom (Pam) Cunningham, and Colleen Abraham, all of Peoria. She is also survived by 23 grandchildren, Brad (Mary Beth) Cunningham, Jennifer (Ty) Severson, Matt (Katie) Cunningham, Dan (Jamie) Cunningham, Maureen Cunningham, Brian Rashid, David (Nicole) Rashid, Katie (Shawn Fitzgerald) Rashid. Kevin Lucas, Kellie (Joe) Scarpino, Father Kyle Lucas, Christopher (Kallie) Woolley, Michelle Woolley, Andrew Cunningham, Adam (Megan) Cunningham, Abby (Ted) Voelker, Dr Peter (Clare) Cunningham, Maggie (Eric Delvo) Cunningham, Gabrielle Cunningham, Jack Cunningham, Michael (Lindsey) Abraham, Matthew (Melody Marlott) Abraham, and Luke Abraham. She is further survived by 20 great grandchildren, with two more on the way.
Mary Fran was an elementary school teacher at St. Thomas, Sacred Heart and Kellar Schools in Peoria, making lifelong friends with many of her fellow teachers through the years. She made an impact on the lives of many students and loved hearing from them throughout her life.
“Stay Close to The Lord” was her mantra and the way she lived her life. She and Dick were founding members of St Vincent de Paul parish where she was a member of the Tuesday Morning Prayer Group, and a Eucharistic Minister at church and to hospitalized parishioners. In addition, she was an active member of the Easter Seals Auxiliary, Panhellenic Society, and Peoria Area Retired Teachers Association.
The role Mary Fran most cherished was “Grandma” to her grandchildren. She and Dick attended most grandchildren events and she was famous for hosting grandchild craft days in her home. She would work all year on crafts to enter at The Heart of Illinois Fair, where they would then take grandchildren for their special “Fair Day” with Grandma and Grandpa.
For the past 5 years, as her health declined, Mary Fran lived with her daughter Julie. During those 5 years, her family became her primary care givers and it was in Julie’s home that her daughters rallied the troops and made sure she was taken care of in her final days.
The family would like to thank Dr. Thomas Kouri, Harbor Light and OSF Hospices, Pam Cunningham, and family friends Peggy, Peggy, Melody, Kris, Pam, and Robin for their compassionate care.
Visitation will be held from 9-11 am Saturday, March 13, 2021 at St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 6001 N University St, followed immediately by a Mass of Catholic Burial. Mary Fran’s grandson, Fr. Kyle Lucas will officiate. Social distancing and mask protocol will be in effect. A private family burial will follow Mass. Friends of the Cunningham family can live stream the funeral Mass on the St. Vincent de Paul Parish Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SVdPVikings .
The family kindly requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to St. Vincent de Paul Parish.
Friends may sign the online guestbook or send condolences to www.wrightandsalmon.com

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

13

Mar

9:00 AM 3/13/2021 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 3/13/2021 11:00:00 AM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

6001 N University St
Peoria, IL 61614

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
6001 N University St Peoria 61614 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Saturday

13

Mar

11:00 AM 3/13/2021 11:00:00 AM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

6001 N University St
Peoria, IL 61614

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
6001 N University St Peoria 61614 IL
United States
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