Anita Marcella Allison Cunningham (Nita), age 99, joined her beloved husband Herbert E. Cunningham, her sister Eldora, her brothers, Claude and Harold, her father and mother, Joe and Sarah Allison, and a heavenly host of many other friends and family awaiting her in heaven on January 26, 2016.
Nita and her beautiful smile and wonderful laugh brought joy to so many of us here on earth. She was born Anita M. Allison in Mutual, Oklahoma, on August 11, 1916, and even though as a minister’s wife she lived in many places, Mutual was always home. She attended Mutual School and played “some mean high school basketball.” Being only 5 feet tall did not deter her. In fact, during her life, not much did.
She always had a project – painting, sewing, writing, crocheting, rug-hooking, reading, doll-making, quilt-making, helping people, as well as continuing to be an avid and knowledgeable college basketball fan of both girls and boys’ teams. If you ever wanted to know the best and worst coaches, players, scores and plays at any particular time, ’just ask Nita’.
Nita met her soon-to-be husband Rev. Herbert E. Cunningham at Mutual Christian Church in 1937 when he came from Phillips University Seminary to minister the church. By that time, she had graduated from high school and was working at the Mutual Post Office which happened to be close to the parsonage which she happened to pass every day on her way home from work.
One thing led to another and Nita and Herbert married August 4, 1941, and after serving many years in the ministry, they returned to Mutual upon his retirement in the 1970’s. Among others, they served Christian churches in Jasper, Alabama; Falls City, Nebraska; Bristol, Virginia; and Cheektowaga (Buffalo), New York. Following Herbert’s death in 1983 she remained in Mutual until 2010 when she moved to Augusta, Georgia, to be with her daughter Shirley.
Nita was preceded in death by her Mother and Father, Sarah and Joe Allison, Mutual OK; Brothers, Claude (Alma) Allison, Oklahoma City; Harold Allison, Park Hill, OK; and Sister, Eldora (Dan) Moore, Webber’s Falls, OK.
She is survived by her daughter, Shirley A. Cunningham, Augusta, GA; Sister and Brother-In-Law, Mary Beth and Bob Christensen, Mutual, OK; Sister-In-Law, Laguaya Allison, Park Hill, OK; Nephews Bobby (Jayne) Christensen, Oklahoma City, OK; Craig (Linda) Christensen, Seiling, OK; Mark Christensen, Phoenix, AZ, Danny Moore, of Norman, OK; and nieces, Dixie Chen, Seiling, OK; Marilyn Moore, Webber’s Falls, OK, and Carolyn Moore, FL,. Nita has numerous grand and great-grand nephews and nieces of whom she’s also very proud, and one grand-cat Moose who kept her very entertained in Augusta.
The family thanks the administration and staff of Kentwood Extended Care Home in Augusta, GA., for their excellent care and special kindnesses to Nita, and their guidance to Shirley in her care for Nita. Shirley also greatly appreciates all the support her friends and family generously gave to her and Nita.
Heart-filled thanks to sweet Melissa Steves whose love, laughter, encouragement, and care gave Nita so much joy.
Nita’s funeral will be at her home church, Mutual Christian Church, Friday, February 5, 2016, at 11:00 AM with burial following in Dunlap Cemetery. Visitation will be at Redinger Funeral Home in Seiling, OK., 9 AM to 7 PM on Thursday, February 4. The Christian Women’s Fellowship will serve dinner to the family following the service at the church. Music will be led by Gena Christensen, the service conducted by Pastor Dane Looman and the eulogy delivered by Rosie Messer, Nita’s Daughter #2 from Richmond, Virginia.
Pallbearers will be Craig, Adam, Tom, Bobby, Wesley, Mark and Jeremy Christensen. Honorary Pallbearers will be Bob Christensen, and his “coffee crew”.
Donations may be sent in her memory to Dunlap Cemetery or Mutual Christian Church, c/o Redinger Funeral Home, Box 236, Seiling, OK 73663
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