Obituary for Janice Swank Cunningham

sign guestbook

Image of
Janice Newton Swank Cunningham, born October 25, 1930in Harrisonburg, Virginia to Ward C. Swank and Elsie Miller Swank,passed away December 29, 2017, in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
Janice is survived by her daughters Nancy Cunningham (Keith) Junker of Berthoud, Colorado, and Jane Cunningham (Thomas) Kruse of Holmen, Wisconsin, four grandchildren (Mallory Anne Junker, Madison Leigh Junker, Matthew Thomas (Jessica) Kruse, and Casey Miller Kruse), and two great-grandchildren. Janice was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Herbert Jay Cunningham, on July 23, 2004, and by her sister Carolyn Swank Kline on August 20, 2016.
Jan lived most recently in Onalaska, Wisconsin near daughter Jane, after having lived in multiple Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, and Colorado locations. Jan was a very impressive woman with a mind several times larger than her physical body. Jan’s father was both a Virginia State Senator and the mayor of Harrisonburg, VA. She received a Bachelor's degree in mathematics at Madison College. She worked as a “human computer” for NASA in Virginia, married Herbert J. Cunningham August 22, 1953, and raised daughters Nancy and Jane in Newport News and in York, Virginia. Jan also built and sustained a large and successful piano teaching studio and earned a Bachelors degree in music at Christopher Newport College. She went on to get her Masters degree in music composition in her 60s from the University of West Georgia. Jan played piano artistically and publicly in varied settings in multiple states for years, wrote many original compositions for publication, and gave piano lessons on her Steinway Grand piano to children and adults wherever she was living at the time. She was devoted to her children and descendants, held steadfastly to her passion for piano, enjoyed keeping up with the modern world in all its incarnations, appreciated good food, reading, puns, and all forms of clever and intellectual word play.She always thought of herself as a Presbyterian and of the Christian faith.
There will be cremation and a private family memorial service. Dickinson Family Funeral & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.
“~Dance~
My fingers dance On the set Of ivory & black pirouettes.
I let go While my fingers fly, Making music through the night.
This is the best therapy. A place of release, House of freedom & relief.
My oasis of redemption. My river of gentle. My ocean of mental.
My mind is relieved. My fingers are free To let go, making music sweet.
Rachel Nicole Wagner, Yesterday’s Coffee