Stewart Wayne Cunningham, (57) of Modena, NY, and lifelong resident of the Newburgh area, entered peacefully into rest, as he slept at home on Saturday Nov. 18, 2017. Stewart was born in St. Albans, Queens on Nov. 5, 1960 and is predeceased by both parents Francis W. (USAF, TSgt, Ret;) and Barbara A. (Hansen) Cunningham (Ret. Ceramic Instructor;) his cousin Jeffrey A. Reistad; and Uncle Dennis S. Reistad - all of the Town of Newburgh, NY.
Stewart is survived by his wife Kim Soon (Boenau) Cunningham; their handsome English Springer Spaniel "Casper;" and his two older brothers: Dr. Scott L. (Anne) Cunningham of Summerfield, NC; and Keith A. Cunningham of Garrison, NY; as well as his three NC Cunningham nephews: Andrew G.; Dr. Daniel L.(Kristen;) and John Isaac.
Also surviving Stewart are his uncles and aunts: Jack A. (USAF, SMSgt, Ret.) (Ruth) Cunningham of Wichita Kansas/formerly of San Antonio, TX; Janet L. (Hansen) Reistad of Newburgh, NY; and Russell AL.(Linda) Hansen of Iselin, NJ. Stewart also leaves behind first cousins: Russell Cunningham of San Antonio, Tx; Bruce Cunningham of Hutto, TX; and Bonnie (Cunningham) Cohen of Wichita, KS; Kathy (Hansen) Waddell of Owasso, OK; Joanne (Hansen) Curcio of Middletown, NJ; Jenée (Reistad) Bailey of Pine Bush, NY; and Denise (Reistad) Carpenter of Redding, CA; and their families.
Stewart grew up in Newburgh, NY within a loving and supportive family. He enjoyed riding his bike all over Meadow Hill and beyond and loved exploring the woods behind our house. Stewart attended Newburgh Public Schools and took a few community college courses before signing on with Con Edison. He was a member of the local Boy Scout Troop and enjoyed camping out. At NFA, Stewart was a member of the track team - something he was always particularly proud of.
As an assistant storekeeper at Con Edison, Stewart was able to use his CDL to drive flatbed tractor trailers to make satellite deliveries of materials, supplies, transformers, and emergency generators to other Con Edison locations and job sites. He liked to think of himself as MacGyver and related many tasks to how a truck driver might accomplish them. Close friends knew him as "The Motivator."
Stewart worked mostly the night shift, preferring reduced traffic during his commute and staying out of the limelight. He was always friendly and enjoyable to be around and was always cooperative on the job with union and management personnel alike.
Being such a pleasant worker to be around, and noted for his can-do approach and willingness to help, Stewart earned the nickname of "Sweetpea" from his fellow workers. Anyone that dealt with "Sweetpea" on the job was always provided with Stewart's special brand of customer satisfaction.
Stewart retired from Con Edison after 33 years of dedicated service and he never let one day go by without expressing how happy he was in retired life. Stewart joined the Con Edison Retiree Club and looked foward to monthly lunches with other former employees
Stewart served as a trustee of his Memorial United Methodist Church, and he helped actively manage the church's food pantry. He served as liturgist (read scriptures) during services there, and he voluntarily snow-plowed the church driveway and parking lot.
Stewart was a very warm, loving, and compassionate man who often wore his heart on his sleeve. He was generous and kind, and enjoyed puttering and tinkering around the home, which he and Kim had built.
Stewart was instrumental in caring for both of his parents, as they aged and as their health began to wane. Most of all, Stewart loved his wife Kim and he strived to be the best husband he could be for her. Together, they had arrived at a great place in their lives; Stewart was feeling better than he had in years, he was on top of his game and excellence was on their horizon.
We do not know why Stewart was taken when he was, yet we DO know that, to those who believe, all things work together for good. Stewart will be missed by many people, far and wide.
Cremation took place with a Memorial Service set for 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Memorial United Methodist Church: 1928 Rt. 44/55 Modena, NY 10548. A reception with fellowship and food to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of our father: Francis W. Cunningham To: American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202 -1-800-DIABETES