A Tribute to Fred Cunningham

My brother in law, Fred, fought Parkinson’s the way he approached most everything else, with quiet strength.  His grandson, Kyle, wrote these words of tribute:

Early this morning my grandpa passed. He was a minister of the church 40 years, married one of the most wonderful women on earth, and fathered three children who have all grown into being role models for me. The way he lived his life influenced me perhaps more than any other person I’ve known.

He believed in humane service and action as a privilege, rather than duty. He ministered to a small congregation on the poorer end of Kalamazoo, half of whom had been diagnosed with serious mental illness. He taught me to find courage in those people, where others may have only seen weakness.

If that was all Kyle had written (it was not…) it would have been impressive.  When I read those words I think, “That’s how I would like to be known, what I’d like to be when I grow up.”  If Jesus read them, He would think:

“… Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  (Matthew 25:40b)

Fred left a big hole…

One thought on “A Tribute to Fred Cunningham

  1. Terry Blake-Boehm

    This is a very touching tribute regarding a man I suddenly felt as if I’d known. In a way, I did. I knew his sister (Ann Maree) and a quiet yet deep, familiar family trait came to the surface. My sympathies to you and your family. Terry

    Reply

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