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Gladys Mildred Cunningham

January 16, 1927 ~ November 11, 2020 (age 93)


Gladys Mildred Cunningham passed away on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Gladys was born on January 16, 1927 to Kyrn and Jennie (Van Slooten) Ruis in Pease, Minnesota. She was  married to William “Bill” Cunningham on December 09, 1950 and together they had two children. Gladys worked at various places in the Brainerd Lakes Area, including Madden’s Resort, before she retired. She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Brainerd, MN. She also enjoyed spending time with family, reading books and traveling in her senior years. Gladys moved into Northern Lakes Senior Living in February 2016, and she truly loved living there. She had many good friends and they were as special to her as she was to them. Gladys will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her children, Susan (Ed) Jopling, Henderson, NV; Carl Cunningham, Merrifield, MN; grandson Joshua Cunningham, Phoenix, AZ; siblings Marvin Ruis, Everett WA; Violet Plankis, Homer Glen, IL.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bill; brothers, Andrew Ruis, Eibert Ruis, Donald Ruis, and sisters, Grace Godeke, Janet Vedders and Betty Stonecipher.Gladys Mildred Cunningham passed away on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.


This poem was written by Gladys Daughter, Susan: 

I Never Knew

I never knew a heart could break, The grief a gulf of sorrows.

I never knew pain, like letting go, Saying goodbye to our tomorrows.

How helpless one can feel, when there is nothing you can do, That loss could be so crippling, this I never knew.

I never knew a parent’s love, could flow so deep and true, Putting us before themselves, is the way of love they knew.

And with their passing the way is lit, by their brilliant, loving light, A dazzling beacon to guide us, through the sadness of our night.

We cannot keep them with us, that’s selfish on our part,
Yet I never knew how much they could, leave written in one’s heart.

Thus, I dedicate this to you Mom, and what I learned from you, I thank you now for teaching me, those things ‘I Never Knew,’

Thank you, Mom, I love you, more than you’ll ever know, I will hold you dearly in my heart, ‘til it’s my time to go.

Then when we finally gather, in God’s most perfect Place,
We’ll hold hands and we’ll share love, and sing ‘Amazing Grace.’

Love you forever, Susan 11/09/2020



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