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Nell Gray Cunningham

March 12, 1927 April 19, 2020
Nell Gray Cunningham
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Obituary for Nell Gray Cunningham

Nell Gray Cunningham passed away peacefully at her home on April 19, 2020. She was born in Havana, Florida on March 12, 1927, the daughter of Howard Clinton and Yvonne Rollo Gray. Nell graduated from Havana High School in 1945 and Florida State University in 1948 with a degree in Elementary Education. She taught school in Gadsden County for 30 years, and was delighted to hear from and see her former students after she retired. She never stopped teaching even though she wasn’t in a classroom and could direct a room with ease.

Nell lived a life of kindness, grace, integrity and generosity. She, like her mother, believed that the place where you lived ought to be a better place because you lived there. To that end, she was involved in numerous activities in her church, her community and the public schools in Chattahoochee and Havana, the two places she lived the majority of her 93 years. She was a community organizer for many worthwhile projects, a life-long educator, a volunteer, mentor and friend to so many people. She received numerous awards for her work, including Gadsden County Teacher of the Year, first recipient of the Havana Kiwanis Volunteer of the Year Award, a Commitment to Excellence Award from Florida State University, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Diamond Award.

Nell was selected by Governor Askew as one of the delegates from Gadsden County to identify counties without a library system and assisted in successfully establishing the Gadsden County Library Service. She was later selected by Governor Graham as the delegate from Gadsden County to attend his conference on leadership. Nell served on the Board of Gadsden Memorial Hospital for nine years, was a team Captain for the Havana Relay for Life, chaired and served on a number of committees at the first United Methodist Church in Chattahoochee and Salem United Methodist Church in Havana. Nell served as the liaison between Gadsden County and FSU’s College of Medicine, and talked with students yearly so they would get a “feel” for this rural area. She served on the Havana Health and Wellness committee, started a volunteer program in the Havana Elementary School, volunteered at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for over 20 years, served on the board of the Havana History and Heritage Museum.

Nell considered her children and grandchildren as her greatest accomplishment.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Sam; her daughter, Sally Cunningham and husband John Bryant; her son, Clint and wife Ellen; grandsons, Austin and Christian, “bonus” grandchildren Evan Bryant and Maddy Curley; brother, Howard Gray and wife Carol, and many greatly loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Jean Standley.

A memorial Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Salem United Methodist Church in Havana, Florida or the Florida Methodist Children’s Home.

Charles McClellan Funeral Home Home, Quincy, FL., 850-627-7677.

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