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Arthur (Art) Cunningham

Obituary for Arthur (Art) Cunningham

December 31, 1932 - June 13, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 84


Born New Year's Eve, 1932, Arthur (Art) Cunningham, 84, died June 13, 2017. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas.

Born on his maternal family homeplace near Hempstead, Texas, Art was the third son of Coleman and Annie Farquhar Cunningham. He was predeceased by his parents and beloved brothers Jack Cunningham and Homer Cunningham.

As a youth shaped by the depression, Art grew up independent, competitive, and resourceful. Positive, enthusiastic and upbeat, he lived his life with zest and a can-do attitude.

The family moved to Austin where Art played quarterback and running back for the Austin High Maroons. In 1949 and 1950 they vied for the state championship, losing both years to Wichita Falls.

Awarded a football scholarship to Hardin Simmons University, he started all four years as a defensive back. Summers during college were spent roughnecking in the West Texas oil fields, an experience which led to his lifetime career in the petroleum industry. He graduated with a finance degree and was hired by Atlantic Oil Company as a landman, working in Midland, then Tyler.

Art married Claire Caswell in Austin in 1954. They raised their family in Tyler where they made their home for nearly fifty years. Always a sports enthusiast, he enjoyed coaching his sons' sports teams, officiating high school football, serving numerous times as a booster club president, and shaping many young lives in the process. He loved watching his girls' recitals and drill team performances. Art served on the Tyler Parks and Recreation Board, was a member of the East Texas Landmen's Association, and was given the Pioneer Landmen's Award. He was twice Senior Warden of Christ Episcopal Church, Tyler.

Art later founded his own company for Petroleum Lease Acquisitions and Operations, which he ran for thirty years. In retirement Art and Claire moved to Austin to be near their large family.

Art's character traits were diverse. He was big-hearted and generous, but personally frugal; extremely hard working, however he loved a good time. He was a skilled negotiator but always known for ethical and fair trades. His greatest gifts were the time and love he showered on his family.

Art was a man of strong faith.

Art is survived by Claire, his devoted wife of 63 years; four children, Keni Neff (John), Kelly Cunningham, M.D. (Beth), Alison Quisenberry (Charlie), Mike Cunningham (Becky); fifteen grandchildren, Jay Neff, Brad Neff (Elizabeth), Greg Neff (Julie Winn), McCall Cunningham Adams (Michael), Kevin, Riley and Casey Cunningham, Cam Quisenberry (Rachel), Clay Quisenberry, Claire Quisenberry Hawley (Carson), Will, Ellee, Keni Anne, Meggie and Joe Cunningham. Art leaves six great-grandchildren: Sammi, Halli, Collins, Caleb, Gracie, and Adeline, all Neffs! Also surviving is brother-in-law Kenneth Caswell.

The family wishes to thank Art's devoted caregiver Angie Sanders, grandson Jay Neff for his kind assistance, and the staff at Brookdale Northwest Hills.

Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 3201 Windsor, Austin, Texas 78703 or Alzheimer's Association, 3429 Executive Center Drive, Ste. 100 Austin, 78731.

"Then your light, will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard."
Isaiah 58:8

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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