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You are here: Home Section Table Village Voices Teacher and Community Volunteer Eileen Cunningham Passes Away at 77
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Teacher and Community Volunteer Eileen Cunningham Passes Away at 77

eileencunninghamEileen Alice Cunningham, treasured mother, sister, teacher, and friend passed away on June 30, 2019. Eileen, the beloved daughter of deceased parents Annie and Michael Ward of Leitrim and Roscommon, Ireland, was born May 20, 1942, in Manhattan. The loving and beloved mother of three is survived by her children John Michael, Anne Marie, and Eileen Mary; Anne’s husband David Pugh; and her grandchildren Seamus Martin and Fiona Anne Pugh. Eileen was a loving sister to Eleanor Acer and Mary Crouch; and to her brother-in-law, Woody Crouch. Her abiding love for family was reflected in her close relationships with her cherished cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, godchildren, and friends.

Eileen, a gifted teacher with a calling, dedicated over thirty years to the New York City Board of Education. She graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in Elementary Education, and began her career in the Bronx, instructing the City’s youngest students. By the time she concluded her teaching career, she was instructing the next generation of teachers with her patented combination of innovation, understanding, and encouragement. She led by example, pioneering a ‘buddy program’ between local junior high and elementary students, and demonstrating teaching techniques drawn from her long experience. She worked magic, amazing other teachers with her ability to calm an unruly lunchroom filled with hundreds of students without once raising her voice or losing sight of her connection with each individual child. Eileen was also a proud union representative for her elementary school, lobbying locally and nationally for better teaching conditions and greater support and respect for all teachers.

Dedication to community and parish life was important to Eileen. In Scarsdale she held numerous executive positions in the Scarsdale Neighborhood Association. She also spent more than a decade teaching CCD at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Scarsdale.

Eileen spent her life curious about the world and was an adventurous traveller. She imparted her love of history, art, and music to her children, grandchildren, family, and friends. She had a life-long love for the Metropolitan Museum, where she spent happy hours absorbing art, ancient to modern. She loved theater, especially Shakespeare in the Park and the George Bernard Shaw Festival in Canada. She was a supporter of The Irish Repertory Theater in New York.

Eileen spent some of her happiest moments under an umbrella on a Cape Cod beach, sun hat on and mystery novel in hand, surrounded by her family. This is the way they will remember her.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make a donation in Eileen's memory to the Sturge-Weber Foundation. Checks may be mailed to 12345 Jones Road Suite 125 Houston, TX 77070, or click here:

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