John Cunningham

John Frederick Cunningham

Friday, October 10th, 1919 - Friday, September 13th, 2019
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Cunningham, John Frederick 99, passed away peacefully in Veterans' Place, Yarmouth, with his loving family by his side. Born October 10, 1919 to the late Herbert and Grace (Ayres)Cunningham. He was a member and strong supporter of Faith Memorial Baptist Church. He worked alongside his father at the Cape Forchu Lighthouse before enlisting in the RCAF Marine Division serving for five years. His working career included lobster fishing, 2nd mate aboard the PEI Ferry, 3rd mate aboard the MV Bluenose, founder of Johns' Cove Fisheries and Harbour Pilot for the port of Yarmouth for 35 years. He was an officer in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corp Chebogue where his sons were cadets during their high school years. Of all his accomplishments, he was the most proud of his boys, Donnie, Gary and Wayne, their love and devotion unwavering. He enjoyed duck hunting and baseball, a member of the Overton Outlaws ball team and a devoted NY Yankees fan. He was happiest at his home on Cape Forchu with his beautiful view of the ocean and Yarmouth Light as well as the abundance of deer and birds he so enjoyed feeding and watching. He loved his little river duck dogs, owning six throughout his life, his last being Oliver and along with his cat Chickadee, provided him joy and companionship until his move to Veterans' Place. He is survived by his sons Donald, Gary (Sandra), and Wayne; brothers Albert (Stella) and George; grandchildren Jody, Jonathan, Jane, Margaret-Ann, Robert, Shannon, Tammy, Tracey, and Tara; 20 great-grandchildren, 8 great-great grandchildren ; former wife Rose (Berry) and faithful and loving daughter-in-law Heather Cunningham. Besides his parents he was pre-deceased by his wife and mother of his children, Margaret (Davison), infant daughter Gwendolyn, second wife Mary (Sweeney), brother Herbert Jr., sisters Imogene Baker and Betty Sweeney, daughter-in-law Donna (Manthorne) Cunningham, and great-grandson Tanner Cunningham. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Sweeny's Funeral Home and Crematorium, Yarmouth. Visitation will be Wednesday, September 18,2019 from 7-9 pm. from the Sweeny’s Funeral Home Chapel. A Royal Canadian Legion Branch 61 Service at 7:30pm. Funeral service will be Thursday, September 19,2019 at 2 pm. also from the Sweeny’s Funeral Home Chapel, Rev. Clark and Pastor Turpin officiating. Interment to follow in the Cheggogin Cemetery. The family would like to extend their appreciation to the staff of Veterans' Place for the wonderful care he received during his 2 years there. Family flowers only, donations can be made to Veterans' Place, Yarmouth SPCA, Faith Memorial Baptist Church and Arthritis Society. On-line condolences may be sent to: or you may sign the guestbook on-line at:
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Sweeny's Funeral Home Chapel
    567 Main Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, September 19th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Thursday, September 19th, 2019 2:00pm
    Sweeny's Funeral Home Chapel
    567 Main Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Clark
    Pastor Tim Turpin
  • Interment

    Chegoggin Cemetery
    Chegoggin, NS
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Greg Cook

Posted at 12:13pm
My warmest condolences to the family and friends of John Cunningham.

John has been like a member of my family since I can remember. He and his wife Marg were married in a double ceremony with my mother Betty and father Don. The four were high school friends.
John and Marg’s firstborn was named Donald, after my father. When John lost his wife and baby in their fourth pregnancy, he and his three boys became even closer family – in mourning and mutual care.
When visiting with us three boys in Chebogue we played a pick-up ballgame in the barnyard. At the Yarmouth Lighthouse where his father had been keeper before John was Harbour Pilot, we played ball on some outcropping of grass and pools of water on the rocks. When the fog horn blasted its two-note warning, like “LooooK-Ouuut,” the lips of the ballplayers could be seen moving. But we had no idea what they were saying.

In lobster season some of its food gifts arrived like medicine in our home.

John had a sense of humour punctuated by exhilarating exhaustion of breath that seemed never to break into loud belly sound. But it put smiles on the faces of all listeners.

John’s only complaint in old age I recall was that he couldn’t stand wearing his hearing aid. When I invited him to Mother’s 80th birthday he reached for his knees saying, “Oh my legs … I can’t hear a thing. My daughter-in-law came to the door the other day. She said, ‘Hello.’ I answered, ‘Goodbye’.”

But he came to Mother’s birthday party.

When Mother died six years ago John was an honorary Pall Bearer.


Cindy Bustin

Posted at 07:13am
Donnie, Garry, Wayne, and family
What a remarkable man! Uncle John was such a well informed man. It was always a pleasure to visit him and hear his comments on current events and local happenings. He loved to hear about family members and of course you would never leave his place without a candy or something he could share with you. He will be sadly missed by us all and Cape Forchu won't be the same without him. He was the last of the old guard.
With fondest memories,
Cindy(Sweeney) and Vernon Bustin and family. P.E.I.

Dorothy Blakely

Posted at 02:53pm
Dear Don and family: We want you to know that we are thinking of you today and sending you our sincere sympathy and hugs.
Dorothy and Ken and Buttons

Donald, Mary-Jane Davison

Posted at 08:59am
We celebrate Uncle John by rembering his welcoming yell, "Come in Donnie !" whenever we 'd show up at his door. He was usually planning and preparing his main meal but always had time for stories and was always interested in what we were doing. He always had treats for our dog, (even though she usually helped herself to Chickadee's dish), and of course a treat for us as well. We appreciated hearing his memories of when all the boys were young, and of the Davison nephews who had tragically lost their dad at a very young age.

Donnie,Wayne, Gary, our hope is that good memories will fill your mind and warm your heart.
Love to you all,
Donald and Mary-Jane (Davison)

Donnie, Gary, Wayne , our hope is that good memories fill your mind and warm your hearts.

Holly Rice

Posted at 07:32am
It pains me that I can’t be there to share in the memory of Great-Grampie with all of you. He has a special kind and gentle way, a fondness for his children and his children’s children, and the purest love for “dog” and Chickadee. I will miss seeing him shuffle around in his slippers, the giggle that made me giggle when he found something truly funny. The things that remind me of him the most are the things that tether me to Nova Scotia in my family and my identity—the lighthouse, summer reunions, watching deer flick through the trees behind his house. I love and miss you, Great-Grampie, I will carry you with me when nothing around me looks even remotely like home.

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