Jamie (Jay) Cunningham

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Jamie (Jay) Cunningham- Oct. 2015Jamie (Jay) Cunningham – Jay was born on January 26, 1929 in New Castle, Indiana to Rufus and Irene (Dinkins) Cunningham, and died October 19, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His first wife, Virginia Hiner, and a daughter, Pamela Hawkins, preceded him in death.

Jay was a 1947 graduate of New Castle High School and enjoyed returning for class reunions and homecomings. He attended Ball State University and Indiana Central College.

Jay spent his early years in radio broadcasting and especially enjoyed doing play-by-play of boys’ basketball games for WCTW in the New Castle vicinity. Years later he retired from his career in personnel and public relations with the Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, Michigan, moving to Colorado Springs in 1991. Jay volunteered as an instructor in the AARP Safe Driving Program. He also served as an elder at Grace Presbyterian Church.

Jay is survived by his wife, Nelva (Van Zyl); three daughters: Karen Kirby (Joel) of Nashville, Indiana; Melinda Graham and Lisa Strecker, both of Colorado Springs; a son- in-law, Jim Hawkins of Hobart, Indiana, and seven step-children, 31 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Thursday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. at Village Seven Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs. Donations in Jamie’s memory can be offered to the Jay Cunningham Memorial Fund for the missionary work of Romany & Emily Graham Barakat with Youth With a Mission and for Bob & Katie Van Zyl in Bogota, Colombia and can be mailed to Village Seven Presbyterian Church, 4055 S. Nonchalant Circle, Colorado Springs 80917 or memorial donations can be made to to the Henry County Community Foundation, PO Box 6006, New Castle, IN 47362 or on line at