Pat R. Cunningham: 1922 – 2016
Pat R. Cunningham
1922 – 2016
Pat R. Cunningham, age 94, was held in his daughter’s arms as he left this earth to join his wife in heaven April 10, 2016. Pat had been living at the Powder River Manor in Broadus, Montana with his wife Edith since February of 2012, losing the love of his life June 27, 2015.
Pat was born as the first child to Joe and Isabel Cunningham at Piniele, Montana, March 17, 1922. By the age of 12, he began to make fall trail drives herding cattle from the Powderville area to Belle Fourche, South Dakota to market. He did his share even taking on night watch. Reminiscing of incidents on these drives was very interesting. April 12, 1946 Pat was inducted into the Army in Fort Douglas, Utah. He served in Hawaii and Denver before being Honorably Discharged in January of 1947 at which time he was in California.
Pat began “courting” Edith Roadifer while she was teaching at the Crow Creek School. They were married June 14, 1943 in Sundance, Wyoming, and then made their home on Pocoseechee Creek where they ranched together and raised their three children. He made sure they always had a good horse to ride buying them with their own money made from sheep and cattle and wages earned while working as a family on the ranch. “Fun” consisted of going to Boyes, Hammond or Powderville for country dances, 500 card parties with neighbors, playing pool with the Williams Brothers or going to Manley Moore’s Friday nights to watch TV Fight Night.
In 1979 Pat had a bout with cancer and decided to move to Broadus to go into the antique and refinishing business. Together he and Edith purchased the Mabel Zuehlsdorff property and began a whole new chapter in his book. Within a couple years they had the “old house” chock full of antiques, second hand, tools and farm repair items. Attending auctions surrounding the area for his stock he was very well known in the business. Local farmers and ranchers said Pat always saved them from having to make a trip to “town.” Pat would spend hours in his shop sorting and pricing boxes of items he would purchase for a $1 a box or “all to go” for $1. He would always give a little crooked smile when asked “and what did you have to pay for this.”
Pat is survived by his children Dale (Sharon) Cunningham, Ken (JoAnn) Cunningham and Sylvia (Darold) Zimmer; six grandchildren, Cody (Marcy) Cunningham, Casey (Jessie) Cunningham, T.J. (Heather) Cunningham, Kitty (Joe) Schmid, Adam (Lee) Zimmer and Cass (Amanda) Zimmer; great grandchildren, Cashlee, Cricket, Delani, Bailey, Garrett, Ashley, Cole, Jennie, McKinzie, Jax, Saydee, Cooper and Madelyn; siblings Grace Nesbit and Alice Woolston. Pat was preceded in death by his parents, daughter-in-law Darlene and wife Edith.
A funeral service was Monday, April 18, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Stevenson & Son’s Funeral Home in Broadus. Memorials can be made to the Powder River Manor. Should friends desire condolences can be made to the family by visiting stevensonandsons.com.
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