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Lenora Cunningham celebrates 100 years of living gracefully

Lenora Cunningham recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

Lenora Cunningham celebrates 100 years of living gracefully
June 13
02:50 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Lenora Cunningham sat on stage at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon, June 9, and gracefully accepted recognition and praise in celebration of her 100th birthday. The celebration had begun earlier during the church service when 100 people carried in 100 red roses to mark each year of her 100 years of life. The celebration continued after the church service in the fellowship hall.

Mrs. Cunningham was born on June 5, 1919, in Whitmire, South Carolina, the youngest of seven children. She is the last surviving sibling; her sister Mary lived to be 105 years old. Cunningham moved to Winston-Salem in the 1940s, where she met and married her husband. She is the mother of seven, grandmother of 14, great-grandmother of 11, and great-great-grandmother of six.

Renee Cleveland served as mistress of ceremonies, welcoming nearly 50 family and friends who were on hand to celebrate this milestone. Pastor Scovens opened with prayer and said that “… we are blessed to give her flowers while she can still smell them.”

Son John Cunningham read a letter of appreciation from the family to Mrs. Cunningham which stated that “We had everything because every step of the way, we had you … you showed us how a mother can love her children.”

Annette Scippio, council member for the East Ward, presented a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Allen Joines, proclaiming June 5 as Lenora Cunningham Day. Claudine Robinson, Cunningham’s daughter, read a message from the family, thanking her for all she has done for them, including “… fresh collard greens and turnip greens every Sunday,” and noting that she was a great seamstress, making dresses and patchwork quilts.

Daughter Sheila Cunningham and granddaughters Leshan Cunningham and Ashanti Robinson sang a tribute to Mrs. Cunningham, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

After dinner, the celebration continued with a video presentation, a dance, “My Testimony,” performed by Victorious in Praise, and more tributes from friends and family, ending with serving an elegant birthday cake.

Mrs. Cunningham remarked on two significant experiences from her life: surviving a storm that demolished her home when she was a small child, and voting twice for Obama for president.

She is a faithful member of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. Her advice for a long and happy life is simple: “Try God.”

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