Cover photo for Ralph J. Cunningham's Obituary
Ralph J. Cunningham Profile Photo
1946 Ralph 2024

Ralph J. Cunningham

December 27, 1946 — March 18, 2024

Rossville

Ralph James Cunningham, 76, of Rossville, Kansas peacefully departed life surrounded by family on March 18, 2024.  He was born December 27, 1946, in Great Bend Kansas, and grew up in Claflin, Kansas.   He is the son of the late Ralph W. and Sadie E. Cunningham, the husband of Edythe L. Cunningham, father to Michael J. Cunningham, and stepfather to Tracee A. Post and Nikki L. Bounsing.

Ralph attended both elementary and high school in Claflin graduating in 1964.  He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1966 and was assigned to the 386th Organizational Maintenance Squad at McCoy Air Base in Florida before shipping out to Okinawa, Japan where he was the Crew Chief for a KC135 during the Vietnam War.  He received an Honorable Discharge on May 26, 1970, as a Sgt. 1st Class.

Ralph and Edye met while they were both working in the meat industry. He worked in maintenance; he would help her do the safety checks since she was in charge of safety at the plant, and one check led to another, and they were married 36 1/2 years ago in a back yard of a friend on September 4th. They mostly enjoyed just being together and loved their dogs, going camping, and hanging around their grandchildren.

Ralph loved the outdoors and spent many hours camping, fishing, and hunting with his family and friends in Chase County.  Many hours were spent on the Cottonwood River, Chase County Lake, and down on South Fork creek fishing and running trout lines.  

Ralph began his career in the meat packing industry in the late 70’s where he worked in the maintenance department serving as Plant Main Superintendent for many years in Kansas, Iowa, and Texas where he later retired.  After retiring, he moved to Rossville to be near his son, and especially his grandsons, and the fishing spots he loved so much.  To help pass the time in retirement, Ralph started working part time at the Rossville school system helping in many areas; he truly loved being around the kids.  He was known and loved by many children as Mr. Ralph, and they enjoyed the time they got to spend with him.  

Ralph loved attending all his grandkids school events from dance, band, recitals, and sporting events.   After moving back to Kansas, he loved watching his grandsons play football and baseball.  He could be found under the Friday Night lights during football season sitting with his family and later right next to the fence at baseball games cheering them on.  

Ralph is preceded in death by both his father, mother, stepbrother Samuel Hunter, and stepsister Sadie Rae.  He is survived by his wife Edye of Rossville, his son Michael (Heather) Cunningham of Rossville, and two stepdaughters, Tracee (Robert) Post and Nikki (Douang) Bounsing, both of Amarillo, Texas.

Ralph has eight grandchildren - Trevor Cunningham of Salina, Sean Cunningham of Rossville, Jared Cunningham of Rossville, Caleigh Post, Emilee Cunningham, Avery Post, Adyelene Bounsing, and Brelle Bounsing all of Amarillo.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024, at the Rossville United Methodist Church, 411 Pearl St., in Rossville. The family will receive friends from noon until the service time at the church.

Memorials can be made to the Rossville United Methodist Church or the Rossville Elementary School Outdoor Classroom.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph J. Cunningham, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 22, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Rossville Methodist Church

411 Pearl St, Rossville, KS 66533

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Memorial Service

Friday, March 22, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Rossville Methodist Church

411 Pearl St, Rossville, KS 66533

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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