Brothers, sisters, friends, and family, it is with the utmost sadness that we announce the passing of a dedicated IBEW Brother, John H. Cunningham.
In his 55 year association with the IBEW, he worked with, played with and imparted wisdom to hundreds of fellow comrades in this Union. As a very young 19 year old, John joined Local 47 in March of 1966. So Cal Edison was an open shop at the time; and, to him, it just felt like the right thing to do. In his own words, “Little did I guess that this was the start of a life of nearly infinite promise.”
Throughout his career his “wanderings” have included joining Local 77, working in the jurisdiction of LU 42, 104, and 125 and plying his craft in 8 states. When asked he would tell you that as an IBEW Journeyman Lineman, he had the privilege of good wages, excellent benefits, safe working conditions, and good, equitable terms of employment under a negotiated union contract.
The Goals of the IBEW include: by legal and proper means elevating the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.
For most of the past thirty years JC, as he was affectionately known, worked daily to work towards those goals. As any Business Representative knows, it is a tremendously rewarding and challenging experience, and not for the faint of heart. John was always quick to remind those of us who had the honor to work with him of what the bigger picture and greater focus of our work should be.
In addition to the IBEW, John adored spending time with his wife Kate, sailing, going on walkabouts, and reading.
John could be a hard person to know. At times, he seemingly spoke in his own language. Regardless, there is no doubt that he was a champion for working people, loved line work and made an impact on more people than he could know.
If asked about his time being cut short on this earth, we would likely hear him sigh and say, “Ho hum. Take care.”