Gene Cunningham, 91, of Fredericksburg suddenly passed away on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Gene was born on April 18, 1931 in Harrisburg, PA to the late Arthur and Louise Cunningham.
Gene graduated from Handley High School in Winchester, VA in 1948. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute from 1948 to 1950. When Gene’s father passed away, he left college to support his sister and mother. He joined the United States Marines and served in Korea from 1950 to 1953. Gene returned to VPI to study civil engineering and there he met the love of his life, Joan Lockwood Shelton, who attended Radford College. The couple was married on March 14, 1957. They both graduated in 1958, Gene with a degree in Civil Engineering and Joan with a degree in Physical Education. He joined the Federal Highway Administration in 1958 and his first assignment took them to Sacramento, CA.
Gene’s career took his family to nine different state/regional highway offices, ending up in Washington D.C. in 1963. When he retired in 1985 as the Chief Construction Maintenance Division, Federal Highway Administration, he and his wife, Joan, retired to Fredericksburg, VA. Gene enjoyed genealogy and feeding the birds while retired, he was always watchful for the return of the hummingbirds each spring.
Gene is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan; three sons, Dwaine, Gary, and Scott; sister Marcella Shirley; grandchildren Kara Cunningham, Kristen Klein, Karleigh Zeltner, Taylor Cunningham, Christine Cunningham, Jacob Cunningham, Alex Cunningham, Damien Cunningham, Carson Cunningham, Nicholas Cunningham, and Grace Cunningham; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Gene’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.