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Open Visitation Without Family Present

Thursday September 17th, 2020
12:00pm - 8:00pm

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Graveside Service

Friday September 18th, 2020

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Dan W Cunning

Masks and social distancing are required at the graveside service

Dan William Cunning was welcomed into this world by his parents, W. B. (Burl) Cunning and Irene (Dolecheck) Cunning, and big brother Joe on May 25, 1939, at the Leon, Iowa hospital. Dan left to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 13, 2020.

Dan was active, passionate and engaged during all stages of his life and just a little bit ornery, as evidence by the time he climbed the Mount Ayr water tower with his good friend Johnny Snedeker. Dan was a starting point guard for the Mount Ayr High School boys' basketball team, leading them to the Blue Grass Conference championship in 1956 and 1957. He also quarterbacked the Raider football team and played safety his junior and senior years. He was especially fond of his membership in Future Farmers of America in high school.

After graduating from Mount Ayr High School in 1957, he enrolled at Iowa State College where he became a life-long Cyclone. He graduated from Iowa State in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business. It was in Ames that Dan met and later married Judith Elaine Shuey of Gilbert. They were united in marriage on June 24, 1961, shortly after Dan’s graduation and right before he began his service in the United States Army.

Dan's ROTC training in college prepared him for his service to his country as a forward observer while stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and then Fort Riley, Kansas from 1961 to 1963. Upon discharge from the Army, Dan began working for his father on October 1, 1963 at W. B. Cunning Co. in Mount Ayr, a firm Burl had been a part of since 1927. Dan later bought this business from his retiring father in the late 1970’s, providing insurance, real estate and farm management services to the community. Dan had a deep love for the farm life and farm management. His devotion to his career garnered him success, but, more importantly, the respect, gratitude, and friendship of the Ringgold County community.

Dan and Judy were very active in local organizations and efforts. Dan was a Mount Ayr Jaycee in the mid-1960’s when the Jaycees were at their most active. Membership in the Mount Ayr Lion's Club, Mount Ayr Chamber of Commerce, Ringgold County Development Corporation, Mt. Ayr Golf & Country Club (where they the changed from sand to grass greens), First Christian Church, American Legion, Moonlighters Theatre Group, as well as other organizations, produced life-long friends and rewarding experiences. The Scottish phone booth on the Mount Ayr square exists due to the efforts of Dan, Judy, and his brother and sister-in-law Joe and Pat Cunning.

Dan served on many boards, including Mount Ayr Inn & Suites, Mount Ayr Municipal Airport (of which he was president), MATURA Action Corporation, Green Hills Area Education Agency, Mount Ayr Manor. His efforts helped in passing the school bond to build the current Mount Ayr High School, building the Mount Ayr Inn & Suites, obtaining lights and improvements for the Mount Ayr Airport, and bringing a little bit of Scotland to the Ayr Days celebrations.

With all his work and business, Dan still found time to play and mow. He loved his tractor! He earned his pilot's license a week before his 30th birthday, wrestled a tiger at the Ringgold County Fair, portrayed Tarzan at "The Gong Show" at the Mount Ayr Golf & Country Club, and could really cut a rug with Judy!

Eva Lake Resort in Ontario, Canada was Dan and Judy’s paradise. After their honeymoon in 1961, they spent the next two months at Eva Lake Resort helping to run the business. Dan returned to the resort every year thereafter, only missing one year (2014), when Judy was ill and passed away.

He enjoyed so many wilderness adventures, walleyes, and blueberry pancakes. Dan loved fishing and bird hunting with his Labradors, and maybe a little Johnny Walker Red Label in the evenings. The Cunnings traveled to Florida annually to spend time with Joe and Pat and made too many trips to Ames/Gilbert to count in order to see friends and relatives and cheer on the Cyclones.

Dan became a Cyclone season ticket holder in 1975, the year Jack Trice Stadium was built, and still has the same tickets to this day. His devotion to the Iowa State University Cyclones never diminished over the years and he attended all but a couple of football games (when he broke his back). He also had season tickets at Hilton Coliseum for the men’s basketball games.

Though Dan had leadership roles and abilities, he was also a servant. He and Judy taught Sunday school, served as ushers and deacons, and sang in the church choir at the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr. Dan later served as treasurer at the United Baptist Presbyterian Church. He took an active role in foreign missions, contributing through International Cooperating Ministries to the building of many churches in Africa, Asia, Russia and Guatemala. He also enjoyed flipping pancakes and sausage at the annual pancake supper. To the glory of God, Dan gave of his wisdom, time and treasure his entire life.

Dan was predeceased by his wife, Judith Elaine (Shuey) Cunning, parents Burl and Irene Cunning, and in-laws Jim and Arlene Shuey.

He is survived by his son, David Cunning of Mount Ayr; daughter and son-in-law Stacy and C.J. Lage of Urbandale, Iowa; brother and sister-in-law Joe and Pat Cunning of Wilmington, Delaware; brothers-in-law Matthew Shuey of Nevada, Iowa and Shannon Shuey of Canada; nieces Lisa (Ken) Bachman of Wilmington, Delaware and Nancy (Joe) Diel of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania; nephew, Nicholas Shuey; great-nephew Jake Diel, and great-nieces Abby Diel and Hannah Bachman.

His family, more than anyone, knows the depth of love, generosity, and sense of family and community possessed by Dan William Cunning. He was an exceptional human being and a tremendous example for all of us!

Memorials are to the Ringgold County Neighborhood Center and International Cooperating Ministries (I.C.M.)

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dan Cunning, please visit our flower store.


David and Stacey
I know this is late posting, but we just found out about your dads passing a few weeks ago. I loved your dad. I so remember TGIFs in MA where we occasionally ended up at your house. He and your mom were always so nice. Your dad was one of a kind.
Our sincerest condolences
Amy (Warin) Haney

Amy Apr 1 2021 12:00 AM

I am only just now hearing about Dan and apologize for the late post.....He was a very nice man and so helpful to me during the sale of my Mom's farm. My condolences to David and the rest of the family-I'm so sorry for your loss.

Ken Stclair Feb 5 2021 12:00 AM

To the family of Dan, I was so sorry to hear that Dan passed. He was my 2nd cousin. I remember Uncle Burl and Aunt Irene well, and your wonderful video helped to learn the
life of Dan. He was kind enough to develop a Cunning family tree specific to me. I always enjoyed visiting with him and your Mom the few times we were together. May God bring you peace and comfort at this difficult time. Jane (Larson) and Bob Hegwood

Roberta Hegwood Sep 21 2020 12:00 AM

Sorry for the loss of your Dad, David and Stacy. I have so many fond memories of our family getting together, I will always cherish them. Uncle Dan will be greatly missed. Thinking of you both during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Nancy, Joe, Jake and Abby Diel Sep 18 2020 12:00 AM

Stacy & David...thinking of you as you go thru' the loss of your dad. He was one of those icons of the Mt. Ayr I grew up in and since I left almost 40 years ago. I so enjoyed viewing the video with your family thru' the years. Your mom helped teach the Tran family English when they arrived over here and we still treasure them in our lives. And I have always associated your family with the Barnes family and the church & Jaycees. If something was happening....Dan was in it! He will be missed by so many. Our prayers are with you thru' these difficult days but you are surrounded by love from all who knew him.

Donna Hartman Jones Sep 17 2020 12:00 AM

David & Stacy...we are thinking of you, grieve along with you, and surround you with love and prayers as you go through this difficult loss. Uncle Dan was full of life! We loved him so much and will miss him dearly! He always had a smile on his face. I have so many happy and laugh-filled memories of visiting you all in Iowa over the years. There are too many to name....I will cherish those memories along with our amazing trips to Hawaii and Jamaica...PRICELESS! The video was an incredible tribute to such an amazing person. May you take comfort in all the special memories. Sending our love today and in the days ahead.

Lisa, Ken, & Hannah Bachman Sep 17 2020 12:00 AM

David and Stacy - my condolences. Dan was a big influence in many of us and a great Raider and Cyclone

jerald yearous Sep 16 2020 12:00 AM

We look forward to seeing Dan alive again in the resurrection. John 5:28, 29

Jim & Donna Adams Sep 15 2020 12:00 AM

I remember Dan from when he was a teen-age friend of my brothers, Marvin and Larry. I was seven years younger but he was always kind to me the little sister. Prayers for David and Stacy ,

Charlene Greene Sep 15 2020 12:00 AM

Dan had a great laugh. He attended the Moonlighter plays and when you were on stage you could always hear that great laugh and know he was there. A very kind man and a great asset to the community SandyLamb

Sandy Lamb Sep 15 2020 12:00 AM

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