Vale Frank Cunningham

1941 – 2023





  Frank Cunningham and Garry Eastman

Frank was a much-loved friend and colleague of Garratt Publishing’s founder Garry Eastman and his wife Lynne Muir. Together they walked many pilgrim paths across Europe, a tradition that Lynne continues to this day. Frank brought his fine wisdom, humour and grace to his book, Vesper Time, which addresses the yearning among elders for continued growth, expansiveness of heart, improvement of mind, and a meaningful understanding of our lives in our later years.

Francis (Frank) Joseph Cunningham, 82, passed away peacefully at his home in South Haven, Michigan, on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. He was surrounded by close family friends, his four children and his wife of 59 years. Frank is survived by his wife Sue and his four children: Chip, Stephanie (Ryon Rich), Ken (Ginger Petroff) and Sally Failma (Dr. Ramel Failma). He was also a charming and beloved grandfather to seven grandchildren.

Frank was born in Albany, New York on April 24, 1941. He was the fourth of five children born to Christopher and Agnes Cunningham. Growing up in Albany, he excelled in school and dreamed of traveling the world. He earned his college tuition by playing saxophone in a band. He served as an editor of the student newspaper and graduated from Siena College in 1963 with a history degree. He later received his Master's degree in Linguistics from St. Michael's College in Vermont.

Following graduation from Siena College, Frank backpacked across Europe, settling for a few months in Rome while working in a youth hostel. It was at that youth hostel that he met Sue Dorgan, who was hitchhiking across Europe. Sue and Frank started their family in a converted schoolhouse in Albany, NY, later moving to Burlington, Vermont, where Frank served as Editor for the Vermont Catholic Tribune.

With a mutual love of travel and adventure, Frank and Sue moved to Guam in 1970, where Frank taught Writing in the English Department at the University of Guam, while also writing for and editing the travel magazine Glimpses of Guam, which focused on travel destinations in the Western Pacific.

Frank eventually took a position with Ave Maria Press at the University of Notre Dame while continuing to teach and write. He worked at Ave Maria for twenty-seven years as the first lay-person Publisher until his retirement in 2005. He was a writer at heart and publisher by trade. He enjoyed the time provided by retirement to publish various articles in publications such as Notre Dame Magazine. His book, Vesper Time, a reflection on the spiritual practice of growing older is now in its 8th printing.

(edited from South Bend Tribune)

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