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Sam Cunningham

December 15, 1924 July 6, 2020
Sam Cunningham
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Obituary for Sam Cunningham

Sam Cunningham of Havana, FL passed away on Monday, July 6. He was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1924. He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Clinical Psychology. In the early 1950s he began an internship at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. His intent was to return to Texas until he met his wife, Nell Gray Cunningham on a blind date. They were married for 65 years, until her death on April 19, 2020.

Sam was a true public servant. He taught at the nursing school on the Florida State Hospital campus, and worked his entire professional career as a Clinical Psychologist and later Chief Forensic Psychologist at the Hospital. He was instrumental in the establishment of the nationally accredited psychology internship program and was a member of the clinical/administrative team that established the Forensic Service. He was admired by staff and residents for his kindness and competence. Most notably, Sam was known and respected statewide for his commitment to the care and treatment of persons with mental illness. He mentored many staff at the state hospital and his knowledge and compassion for people will be passed on for generations by those who were fortunate enough to be touched by him.

Sam was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Tallahassee Junior College (now Tallahassee Community College) and served for a number of years on the board of the Children’s Home Society. He was an active member of the Methodist Churches in Chattahoochee and Havana. Sam grew beautiful, prize winning roses for a number of years and judged Rose Shows throughout the Southeastern United States.

Sam was the family story teller and had some great stories (some of which we weren’t sure were completely accurate)! He lived a full and rich life with Nell for 65 years and was a devoted father and grandfather. Sam was predeceased by his wife, Nell Gray Cunningham, his parents and five siblings. He is survived by his children, Sally (John Bryant) and Clint (Ellen), his grandchildren, Austin and Christian, and the grandchildren he gained when Sally married John- Evan Bryant and Maddy Curley. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.
Charles McClellan Funeral Home, Quincy, FL., 850-627-7677, is in charge of arrangements.

No services are planned at this time. Memorial contributions may be made to Salem United Methodist Church in Havana, Florida.
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