Eleanor W. Cunningham, 95, of Asbury Methodist Village, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, went to be with the Lord on August 12, 2019.
She was the mother of Dr. Floyd Cunningham of Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in the Philippines; author Janice Elder of Hagerstown, Maryland; and Dr. Diane Leclerc of Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. She is further survived by her grandson, Ethan Leclerc of Nampa, ID, and son-in-law Steven Elder.
She was the wife of the late Floyd E. Cunningham. They were married for 39 years until his death in 1992.
Born Eleanor Wagner Leighton on October 6, 1923, in Rockville, Maryland, she was one of four children born to the late Howard M. and Ethel V. (Applebee) Leighton. She was preceded in death by her eldest sister Alice Schmidt, twin sister Jean Testerman, and younger brother Howard Leighton.
A lifelong resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, Eleanor graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in 1940. Eleanor then enrolled at the Temple Secretarial School in Washington, completing the program in 1941 before joining the workforce. She began dating her future husband in 1951 and they were married May 9, 1953. Living first in Rockville before moving to Gaithersburg in 1964, Eleanor spent her time raising their three children. In 1967 she began working for the Montgomery County Public Schools as a secretary, a job she kept until her retirement in 1986. In 2003, she moved to Asbury Methodist Village.
She faithfully attended the Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene from 1965 until her health began to fail in 2017. Eleanor loved working in the church, serving on the church board, and as president of the local Nazarene Mission International, and various other committees. She began teaching Sunday School classes at the age of 16 and continued for 72 years. Her devotion to her church and faith were an inspiration to all who knew her.
Blessed with a gift for writing, she was the co-author with Rev. Doris McDowell, of He Touched Her (1973); and the author of Montrose School: The First Ninety Years (1999); Miss Apple: Letters of a Maine Teacher in Kentucky (2001), a book about her mother; Portraits in Poetry (2010); and All the Days of My Life: The First Ninety Years (2014), as well as innumerable poems, stories, and articles.
The family will receive visitors at the DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland from 2:00 to 4:00 and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on August 17 at the Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene, 48921 Warfield Rd, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
Interment will be at Parklawn Memorial Gardens in Rockville, Maryland, USA.