Long time Hood River resident Lillian “Lil” Fern Cunningham passed away June 5, 2018, at Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, Ore. Lillian was one of two daughters (twins) born to Raymond and Pearl Wade of Shovel Lake, Minn., on Jan. 10, 1938. Lil’s family moved west and settled in Hood River in 1949. Lil attended early schooling at Pine Grove School and then attended Wy’east High School.
Lil married John Bible and they had three children, Cindy, John and Cathy. On Feb. 18, 1967, Lil and Charles Cunningham were married. Charlie had three children, Cari, Lori and Mitzi. On this day, their families became one, and, as Lil married the love of her life, there was no greater love than theirs. Together, Lil and Charlie fulfilled each other completely.
While raising a family, Lil worked outside the home at Tom’s Drive Inn, Hood River Distillers and Miller’s Department Store prior to starting her own cleaning business with her best friend, Virgie Gaston. Together, they cleaned various mill offices in the valley as well as the Les Schwab office, to name a few.
Lil’s greatest love was sanding and painting Whirley gigs (lawn ornaments), which she and Charlie enjoyed making and selling at various places throughout the valley for the next 10 years.
Lil’s spare time was spent enjoying gardening, working in her spotless home and manicured yard, canning, preserving, making killer homemade dill pickles, baking, traveling, knitting, crocheting, reading and penny slots. The family also enjoyed ATV riding at the coast and the back roads of the Hood River Valley, playing cards (rummy was her favorite), and spending time with and taking care of her family … because they are helpless without her.
Lil is survived by her husband of 51 years, Charles Russel Cunningham of Hood River; children Cindy (Jeff) Roundtree of Cambridge, Idaho, John Bible of Newberg, Ore., Cari (Mike) Reuther of Tualatin, Ore., Lori (Kirk) Jensen of Portland, Ore., Cathy (Norman) Walls of Odell, Ore., and Mitzi Hurt (Charles, deceased) of Portland; her twin sister Lila Turney; sister Judy Owens; brothers Irvin Wade and Willis Wade, grandchildren Richard, Amy, Dale, Zachary, Jerrod, Madison, Kyle, Charvonna, Shannon, Dillon, Hanna, Emily, Ben, Leland, Valery and Perry; 21 great-grandchildren and her four legged friends, “Boxers” Sam and Molly. Lil was predeceased by her parents, Raymond Walter Wade and Pearl Lora (Wortham) Wade, in-laws Sandy and Ida Cunningham, and granddaughter Emily Roundtree Narte.
Services are planned to celebrate Lillian’s life and mourn her passing for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12 at Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Graveside rites will follow at Pine Grove Butte Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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