Roberta Gallison Cunningham

Sep 23, 1942 - May 8, 2017

Roberta's Story

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York - Roberta Gallison Cunningham, age 74, of York, ME, died May 8, 2017 in Boston, MA. Born in Pittsfield, MA, on September 23, 1942. She was predeceased by her father Henry Ball Gallison in 1975 and her mother Virginia Grace Doyle in 1996. Mrs. Cunningham was a 1960 graduate of Pittsfield High School. She attended Berkshire Business College and was a secretary-bookkeeper at Shapiro Motors, Inc. Upon the birth of her first child she became a full-time wife and mother. From 1981 to 1987 she worked for Custom Cleaning of Pittsfield, becoming a supervisor in 1986.
She married Richard Allen Cunningham in St. Joseph's Church Pittsfield, MA, November 25, 1961. They moved to Richmond, MA, in 1963, living there until 1987 when they moved to Jackson, TN. They retired to York, ME, in 1992 and for many years spent summers in Hancock, ME, where they were seventh generation owners of her family home, Sam Ball Farm.
Besides her husband, she leaves two sons - Thomas Allen Cunningham and wife, Theresa Hynes of Pittsfield, MA, W. Brian Cunningham and wife, Sarah Johenning, of Westborough, MA, and son-in-law Roy Lewis Wilson, Jr. of Wells, ME. She was predeceased in 2014 by her daughter, Jennifer Cunningham Wilson. She also leaves seven grandchildren - Elijah T. and Abigail A. Cunningham of Pittsfield, MA, Isabelle J., Madeleine J., and Jackson J. Cunningham of Westborough, MA, and Matthew R. and Jacob L. Wilson of Wells, ME. She also leaves her brother-in-law James Bernard Cunningham, Jr. and his wife Anneliese Lamke. Roberta's brother H. Robert Gallison died in 1985.
While in Richmond, Mrs. Cunningham was Town Chairman and Vice President of the Richmond and West Stockbridge Community Health Assoc. and Richmond Chairman of its fund drive and Health Fair. She assisted in their dental, well-child and Denver Development programs. She was the first chairman of the Richmond Historical Commission, co-founder and a leader of the Richmond Brownie Troop and served on committees for the Richmond 1965 and U.S. bicentennials. For many years she was known as "the story lady" at Richmond Consolidated School. She was a member of the costume committee of the Berkshire County Historical Society, a member of the Berkshire Museum Doll Club, and Shaker Doll Club of Albany, NY. She met her husband while a 7th degree member of Patrons of Husbandry, belonging to Heart of the Berkshires, Richmond, Berkshire Central Pomona, Massachusetts State and National Granges.
Since moving to Maine, Mrs. Cunningham has been a member of the Franklin and South Berwick Historical Societies, life member of the Hancock Historical Society, honorary member and past secretary of the Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society, member of the Collection Committee of the Museums of Old York, and member of the New England Genealogical Society. She volunteered for many organizations, was a past president of Doll Collectors of American (the oldest doll club in the U.S.), and a communicant of St. Christopher's Church in York, ME.
She and her husband sponsored a boy in India for 20 years, financed the building of two homes for the poor in India, and two housing unities in Nicaragua, Central America.
Her interests included history, genealogy, travel, antique dolls, miniature room boxes, needlework and spending time with her family.
Private burial will be May 20, 2017, in Center Cemetery Richmond, MA.
For those who would like to remember Roberta in a special way, make gifts in her memory to: The Lifeflight Foundation, P.O. Box 899, Camden, ME, 04843; Food For The Poor, Inc., 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL, 33073; or to the Sullivan and Sorrento Historical Society Urann Home Restoration Fund (her fourth great grandfather's sister's home), P.O. Box 44, Sullivan, ME, 04664.
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME.
To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Roberta's Book of Memories page at www.bibberfuneral.com.
Published on  May 11, 2017
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