Helen Louise Cunningham


June 9, 1923 - July 31, 2011


Helen Louise Cunningham was born June 9, 1923, at Mitchell, SD, to Theodore and Mabel (Cahoon) Lindstrom. She grew up and attended school at Mitchell and graduated from Mitchell High School. After high school, she was a Northwestern Bell Telephone Operator. On May 31, 1943, she married Gifford Lloyd Cunningham at Galveston, TX. They lived in Mitchell, where she was a bookkeeper for Nepstad’s Flower Shop and Milliken Funeral Home. In 1984, they moved to Greeley, CO, where she was an apartment manager. In 1993, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. She returned to Mitchell after her husband’s death in 1999.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Eastern Star, Daughters of the King and enjoyed bowling and golf. She could fix anything and was a gifted needleworker, making beautiful Christmas decorations for friends and family. She loved gardening and flowers and definitely had a green thumb.

She is survived by one daughter, Barbara Opp of Greeley, CO; three sisters: Rene Steichen of Greeley, CO; Evelyn Rosner of Winter Park, FL; Ruth Leggett and husband, David of Santa Barbara, CA; two grandchildren: Michael (Ariana) and great-granddaughters, Elissa and Kaitlyn of Commerce City, Colorado, and Steven (Jaime) and great-grandchildren Ella, Torin and Jack of Greeley, Colorado; two sisters-in-law, Phyllis Brookbank and Grace Cunningham, a cousin, Jessie Garton, special friend, Myrna Stone, all of Mitchell, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gifford; her parents; one sister, Doris O’Brien; brothers-in-law: Clarence Cunningham, Roy Cunningham, Dale Steichen, David Rosner, Milton Brookbank and Elmer Milligan; and sisters-in-law: Vivian Cunningham and Dorothy Milligan.


The family wishes to give a special thank you to all the staff at Prairie Crossings, Firesteel Healthcare Center, and Avera Hospice for their care and concern.


A Memorial Fund has been established.


To Be Announced


Saturday, August 6, 2011
1:00 PM
Saint Mary's Episcopal Church
214 West 3rd Avenue
Mitchell, South Dakota


Servicemen's Memorial Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Louise and Jerry French on August 4, 2011
Barb, Michael and Steven, We are sorry to hear about Grandma Helen's passing. Cling to the memories of the old days as they bring comfort. We are quite sure that Gifford was waiting for her with a cup of coffee in hand! Rest assured that she is now at peace and in the company of loved ones. Louise and Jerry
Posted by Sue Lambert on August 4, 2011
Barb, We (your classmates and friends) have so many memories of your parents and how great they were to all of us as we were growing up. The picture of your Mother is beautiful. Terry's and my thoughts are with you--it is difficult to lose a parent. Sue
Posted by Georgia Ramos on August 4, 2011
Barb, I am so very sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of your Mother and Dad and the times that you and I shared as we were growing up. It is so very difficult to lose a parent. We hate to lose them but are glad that they are at peace and no longer suffering. May her memory be eternal. You take good care! Georgia
Posted by Judy (Backlund) Gohl on August 3, 2011
Barb--I was sorry to read about your mom. It is hard to lose a parent no matter how old they/we are. We have to be thankful for all of the years that we got to have together. Keep your memories close and she will live in your heart forever. Judy
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