“Jerry” was born in Portland, Oregon to Iva and Robert V. Cunningham. During school he spent summers as a fire lookout in the Oregon forests and worked to become a life member Boy Scout Troop 71. During a break in his college education, he joined the army, served stateside and in Korea before he was honorably discharged with a rank of Staff Sergeant E-6 in 1965. Gerald graduated from Oregon State University with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1968. He was a member of the National Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Tau Societies. Gerald was a licensed professional civil engineer in Oregon and numerous other states.
Gerald began his career with Exxon Oil in 1968 soon after graduation and remained with Exxon his entire career.
He met his wife, Margo while he was assigned in New Orleans, Louisiana. They married in 1970 and lived in Washington and California. He was highly regarded in his field of Civil Engineering and designed a number of oil platforms still in use today off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.
Gerald spent the last three years of his career living in Norway as a loaned designer to Exxon’s affiliate, Statoil/Esso, before returning to the states for retirement in 1994. He watched his only daughter graduate from Thousand Oaks High School in 1995, before moving to Newport, Oregon, fulfilling his life’s dream.
Gerald spent the last twenty years thoroughly enjoying his retirement with his wife at their Oregon Coast Home. He spent his free time in genealogy, researching the Cunningham and Simon family history. He succeeded in dating the family back to the 1600’s. He was a fan of slapstick and oddball comedy. He was very keen about photography and old films. His favorite gift was receiving homemade molasses crinkle cookies.
Gerald passed away peacefully of natural causes on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, just days before his 75th birthday.
He has been preceded in death by his parents, and younger brother, Michael Cunningham. He will be greatly missed by his wife Margo, daughter Shannon, sister Kaye Baker of Beaverton, and numerous extended family members in Portland area.
A family celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are being entrusted to Bateman Funeral Home of Newport, Oregon.
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