Franklin Eugene Cunningham, age 95 of Leonardville, passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at the Clay Center Presbyterian Manor.
He was born on March 2, 1927 in Huntington, West Virginia, the son of Milburn and Jane (Greenwood) Cunningham. He was raised in Washington, Indiana where he graduated from high school. He served in both the U.S. Army Infantry, U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force as a gunner and radar operator.
On February 9, 1951 in Beaver City, Nebraska, he married Patricia Joan Whittle. She preceded him in death in 2014. He attended Kansas State University from 1954 through 1957 and received his B.S. in Agriculture. He earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Missouri and was a member of the staff there until 1963.
Franklin worked for the USDA as a Food Chemist at the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California from 1963 to 1965. He left the USDA to assume a research position with a major food company located in Springfield, Missouri and then joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 1969 as an Associate Professor in the Dairy and Poultry Science Department. In 1976 he became a full Professor in the Animal Sciences Department and retired from KSU in 1992.
Dr. Cunningham was the holder of nine U.S. Patents, one Canadian Patent, and had published over 130 scientific papers, nine books, and had made many presentations to scholarly organizations in the food sciences throughout the U.S., Spain, Japan, Korea, England and the Netherlands. He was a long-time member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the U.S. and World’s Poultry Science Associations. He was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, Alpha Zeta, Sigma Xi, Phi Tau Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key. He was a past president of the Leonardville Lions Club, a member of the American Disabled Veterans Organization, Leonardville United Methodist Church, and was a Royal Arch and Select Master Mason.
He is survived by three sons, Michael Cunningham and wife Lois of McPherson, Jon Mark Cunningham and wife Barbara of Clay Center and Charles Cunningham of New Cambria; two daughters, Valeria Crow and husband Rick of Kooskia, Idaho and Candice A. Randall and husband Tim of Nekoosa, Wisconsin; 16 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Terry Cunningham and his great granddaughter, Johannah Browne.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at the Leonardville United Methodist Church with Rev. D. Erich Schwartz officiating. Respect calls may be made from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home. The family will not be present. Burial will be in the Leonardville United Methodist Cemetery.
A memorial has been established for Meadowlark Hospice and may be left in care of the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral in Riley, Kansas.