Thomas Leroy “Tom” Cunningham, age 76 of Naples, FL formerly of Bismarck, IL, passed away at 4:55 a.m. on Monday, July 6, 2020 at Vitas Hospice in Naples.
Tom was born on October 21, 1943 in Danville, IL. He was the son of Paul V. and Helen L. (Clark) Cunningham. Tom attended Bismarck schools until the eleventh grade when they moved to Monticello, IL and was a 1961 graduate of Monticello High School. He then attended the University of Illinois where he studied architecture and aviation. Tom served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed on the USS Arlington as a cryptographer during the Vietnam War.
Tom was a corporate pilot and flew for numerous companies. He flew for the state of Illinois GTE and was a test pilot for Daher of France. While working for these companies, he lived in Champaign, IL, Springfield, IL, Joliet, IL, Bloomington, IL, and Indianapolis, IN. He had resided in Bokeelia, FL and Naples, FL for over 25 years.
Tom was a member of the American Legion and the VFW. He enjoyed boating and fishing. Since moving to Florida, he became a professional photographer as well as a member of the camera club. Being a pilot, he loved to travel. Tom has traveled to 18 countries, crossing the equator in 1969 on his way to Australia. He had traveled to every state except Alaska and lacked only 30 degrees from flying completely around the world.
2 Sisters, Judy Backlund (husband: Andrew) of Kirksville, MO and Carole Simpson (husband: Andrew) of Torino, Italy;
6 Nieces and nephews;
Several Clark and Cunningham cousins whom Tom remained close to;
Dear friends, Dr. Tony Dustman of Bloomington, IL, Jack and Nancy Kaiburz of Punta Gorda, FL;
Camera club friend, Gwen Tyler of Golden Gate, FL
A graveside service with full military honors will be held at Walnut Corner Cemetery in Bismarck, IL on Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. CDT with Tom’s niece, Rev. Lori Landon officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Walnut Corner Cemetery.