James P. Cunningham Sr.

Date of Passing:

May 11, 2020

Cunningham, James P. Sr., 97, formerly of Interlocken Road, East Providence, died peacefully on May 11, 2020 at Elderwood of Scallop Shell, Wakefield. He was the beloved husband of the late Mary T. (Hanrahan) Cunningham.

Born in Providence, a son of the late William and Winifred (O’Hara) Cunningham, he lived in East Providence for 71 years.

Mr. Cunningham was a Plumber for the former Cunningham & Son’s Plumbing and Heating Company beginning in 1945. He was a lifelong member of Local #51 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He was licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

James was a communicant and one of the original members of St. Martha’s Church. He was past president of the Kendbrin Swim & Tennis Club and was a past president and charter member of the East Providence Youth Hockey Association. A sports enthusiast, he enjoyed golfing and fast pitched softball. Mr. Cunningham was a former member of both the East Providence Zoning Board as well as the Tax Review Board.

Mr. Cunningham was a United States Army Air Corps Veteran. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the American Campaign Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, Four Bronze Stars and completed over 30 combat missions. He could have been sent home stateside after 25 missions but continued flying combat missions for a few more months.

James was a loving caregiver to his late wife Mary. He was a devoted husband, wonderful father and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He is survived by his children, Mary Terry McGovern and her husband James of Narragansett, James P. “Tug” Cunningham Jr. of East Providence and Colleen J. Milazzo and her husband Edward of South Kingstown; eleven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. He was the father of the late Joanne M. Rapoza.

A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Thomas More Church, Rockland Street, Narragansett, on Thursday May 14, 2020 at 11 a.m. You may join the Mass on livestream.com/stm. Burial with Military Honors will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence.

Online Condolences


  1. You always new how to make everyone laugh whether it was with your wise, quick comments or shenanigans. You were not only our papa but our doctor and teacher who taught us so many lessons in life.

    I’ll miss your homemade cabinets, yummy stuffing, watching the horse races together, you changing the clocks to make it seem like we were staying up late, family vacations, clam cake/chowder dates, Irish corn beef meals, and all fighting over who gets to sit on your lap. I will cherish these memories forever.

    It know you are reunited with auntie and nana up there in heaven which brings me some happiness. I can hear nana singing to you, “Oh Jimmy, Oh Jimmy, heavens above, oh Jimmy, oh Jimmy, how you could love..” <3

    Miss you papa! XO

  2. So sorry to hear about your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  3. Will never forget all the memories we’ve had and life lessons you have taught me. A coffee cabinet will never be the same. Love you Papa.

  4. My sincere condolences to the Cunningham clan. I recall both Mary and Jimmy being very down to earth nice people who were very proud of their family. A Solid Salute to Captain Cunningham for your dedicated service to our country. May he rest in peace.

  5. Grandpa,

    I will always remember Interlocken Rd as “my house” with you and Nana. Your Sunday morning breakfasts were the best on the electric skillet. Thanks for letting me sit in your chair from time to time. Nana always told me “Don’t tell your Grandfather” when something went wrong.

    Love, Shaun

  6. Jimmy, Ryan, Kyle and family my deepest condolences on the passing of your dad grandpa.

  7. Terry, so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. My deepest sympathy.

  8. Terry,
    So sorry for you loss. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.


  10. Prayers to your family
    At this time of loss and sorrows
    My Deepest sympathies
    may your father
    Rest in peace

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