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JUDITH ELAINE CUNNING

   JUDITH ELAINE CUNNING

    Judith Elaine Cunning, daughter of James and Arlene (Ripkey) Shuey, was born September 5, 1942 in Ames, Iowa. Judy grew up in Gilbert, Iowa and was active in basketball, band, and choir, including performing as an All-State soloist. While growing up, Judy and her parents would vacation in Canada; camping, fishing and enjoying nature. In 1956, her parents purchased and started Eva Lake Resort. During her high school years, Judy would spend the summers at Eva Lake. After graduating from Gilbert High School in 1960, Judy went to Drake University, majoring in music and drama.
    On June 24, 1961, she married Dan William Cunning at the Congregational Christian Church in Ames, Iowa. They honeymooned in Colorado and then spent the next two months at Eva Lake Resort, helping to run the business. In the fall of 1961, Dan went to officers’ training and then was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, where Judy fulfilled the duties of an officer’s wife. In 1963, they returned to Mount Ayr, where they lived for the next 51 years. Judy was very active in the community. She expressed her love for music and drama by being involved with the Moonlighters, Ringgold Singers, and the Princess Theater. She sang at many concerts, weddings and funerals. Judy was a choir director and Sunday school teacher at the First Christian Church, and later was the choir director at the United Baptist Presbyterian Church.
    Judy volunteered many hours with Special Olympics, Meals-On-Wheels, local nursing homes, women’s shelters, David and Stacy’s activities, and community events, including the Scottish heritage celebrations. She was also a member of Chapter CK PEO. Judy served as a special education teacher, and when the First Christian Church sponsored a re-located Vietnamese family in the 1970’s, she helped teach them English. In the 1980’s, Judy operated the Brass Thimble fabric shop on the square in Mount Ayr. More recently, she founded the Star of Hope Foundation to help women who were victims of domestic violence. Judy was an incredible singer, cook and seamstress, and had a voracious love of reading. She loved the arts, and had a soft spot in her heart for animals. One of her greatest experiences was traveling with Dan to Tanzania and Kenya, Africa as part of an International Cooperating Ministries’ mission team.    
    Judy passed away on October 23, 2014. She was preceded in death by her parents and parents-in-law William Burl and Irene Cunning; aunt Marie Hein; uncle John Ripkey; and grandmother Iva Ripkey.
    Those left to cherish her memory include her loving husband of 53 years, Dan, of Mount Ayr; children David Cunning of Mount Ayr, and Stacy Lage and husband C.J. of Urbandale, Iowa; brothers Matthew Shuey of Nevada, Iowa and Shannon Shuey of Canada; brother-in-law Joe Cunning and wife Pat of Wilmington, Delaware; nieces Lisa (Ken) Bachman and Nancy (Joe) Diel; aunts Vera Ripkey, Theda Gammon, Virginia Otto, and Velva (Jim) Hogfeldt; other relatives and many, many good and dear friends.
    Services were held Monday, October 27, 2014 at the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church of Mount Ayr with Rev. Mike Maddy officiating.
    Pallbearers were Craig Elliott, C.J. Lage, Ted Smith, Jeff Kiene, Mike Warin, Dick Wheeler, Dick Jackson, Don Solliday and Collus Lawhead.
    Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.
    Memorials are to Star of Hope Foundation and I.C.M. (International Cooperative Ministries).

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