Floral 06

Thelma Jeanette (Reed) Cunningham

December 13, 1946 ~ June 13, 2022 (age 75)

Obituary Image

Obituary

My “DASH”

Thelma Jeanette Cunningham (affectionately known as Puddin) was born December 13, 1946, in Kansas City, Kansas. She was a faithful servant to God, family, and friends. She leaves a legacy of love and memories that will live forever in the lives and hearts of many. Thelma’s Story!

How do you live your dash?

These are thought provoking words that I have tried to live by for many years.  Just know that I have tried to live my dash the way my Mama did.  Reaching out, pulling close, caring about people, sharing the blessings, and trying to make life better for everybody.

You are born and then you die.  OK, I was born on December 13, 1946, to the single most awesome woman in the world, Helen Thelma Reed.  My dash was lived in the beginning as the second child that God allowed this lady to deliver.  The years brought joy and happiness as she later married Tommie Randall, who claimed me as his own and loved me as a father.

There are nine years between my oldest brother, Robert “Bobby” Gordon and myself.  There was five years between my youngest brother, Philip Randall, and yours truly.   So, you see I was really an only child for what seemed like an eternity.  The years that followed added three sisters to the brook, Bernice Lillie Randall Jackson, Judith Carol Randall McElwee and Leona Marie Randall Franklin.

Helen encouraged us to be the best we could be.  Grant, Northeast, and Sumner were the schools who nurtured her belief in me.  One thing I remember very vividly was when other kids were out playing, I would be inside writing “ovals”, you know that penmanship exercise that most of us had to contend with back then.  She always said my handwriting was just not good enough.  She was a seamstress of sorts and made many strange looking outfits for me to participate in numerous projects.

The encouragement she gave to us has generated full and successful lives.  All six of us own our homes.  All six of us have raised our families.  All six of us worked or is still working to make our lives and those around us better.

God blessed me with two beautiful children, Rodney C. Cunningham, and Rhonda M. Cunningham Green; three beautiful grandsons, Josef Tomaz (JT), Rodney, Jr., and Denzel; eight great grandkids Day’a, Paige, Khi, Kevon, Keion, Jackson, Amarion and a very special and gifted, great granddaughter, Miss Jada Michelle Elise Cunningham. Rodney blessed me with a daughter in love, Vonya Cunningham who is one of the sweetest, caring, considerate and committed individual I know. Rhonda also blessed me with son in love, Charles Bailey Jr. who is kind, giving, and selfless.  We can truly say, WE ARE FAMILY.  Family through the good times and the not so good times.  There has never ever been anything that I asked my children to do that they did not at least…try.

The man I love, Reverend Huie Tomaz Cunningham, is my soul mate.  We traveled many highways and airways together doing those things and touching those lives that God put in our path.  Huie was there for me as God lifted me to a plateau in life that I have never felt worthy of.  He encouraged, congratulated, and loved me every step of the way.

I was proud of my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my great grandchildren, my brothers, my sisters, and my friends.  You have committed your lives to Christ, and I know you will be the BEST you can be.

To my son, KEEP THE FAITH…GOD DOES NOT PUT ANYTHING ON YOU THAT YOU CANNOT BEAR.  To my daughter, KEEP ON BELIEVING THAT THE FUTURE BELONGS TO YOU.  Don’t let anyone steal your dream.  I am proud of you and your accomplishments.  To my grandsons, I leave a legacy for you to fulfill for the rest of your lives.  YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE AND YOU MUST DO IT WELL.   To my nieces and nephews, Tresa, Robert Jr. April, Erick, Shlita, Cassandra, Philip Jr., Rashaud, Cherrise, Jadrian, Jermaine, and James. I encourage you to keep reaching for the stars.  Remember we make choices in life, and we must live with those choices…MAKE THE RIGHT ONES.

 

To Miss Jada, my clone, I pray God’s richest anointing on your life.  You are SPECIAL, you are gifted, you have been an absolute blessing in my life, and I will “see you later alligator, after while crocodile”.

 

To my brothers in law and sisters in law…John (Neco), Darrell, Jimmie, Doug Frances, and Mary, thanks for being a part of my life.  To Chester C Owens, Jr., thanks for believing in me and being my brother and friend.  To Elma, Ernestine, and Linda thank you for being a special part of my life. Your friendship has been a blessing to my life.

Finally, but in no way the least of these…to my husband (who lives forever in my heart), there are no words that can express my peace and joy that you were a part of my life.  Thanks for being a “dad” to my children.  You helped me to stretch my wings and on eagle’s wings I have flown a mighty long way.  I have gone to that land where joy shall know no end.  The land that you preached about for so many years.

To all of you, don’t cry for me……for you see…. GOD ALLOWED ME TO LIVE MY DASH.  I will see you all on the other side of Jordan and yes, I will still be trying to tell somebody how to do something.

I love you all, family and friends and I bid you farewell until we meet again.  OK, in this non-conventional obituary, I guess you need to know……. I passed away on June 13, 2022.

I realize that some of these persons are gone, but they all still live on in my heart. My loved ones that preceded me in death my husband, Reverend Huie Tomaz Cunningham; mother, Helen Reed Randall; father, Tommie Randall; brother, Philip Sr. (Mary); sister, Bernice (Jimmie); sister, Judy; nephews, Terry; and Marco Sr; and niece, Beverly.

THIS IS MY STORY!

Here you will find a snippet of how Thelma lived her “DASH”.

Thelma education includes Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Penn Valley Community College, and Rockhurst College. She obtained Certified Insurance Representative Designation (CISR)in 1995, Certified Professional Insurance Woman Designation in 1996, and Diversified Advanced Education Designation (DAE) in 2002.

Thelma employment began her insurance career in in September 1969 as Bookkeeper of H. W. Sewing & Co., Inc, and obtained her Agent's License in 1972.  She was Elected Secretary/Treasurer, H. W. Sewing & Co., in 1974, elected Vice President in 1980.  She became President/CEO and principal stockholder in March 1998

The business services include:

President-Insurance Professionals of Greater Kansas City, August 2004.

Appointed to Diversity Task Force-Independent Insurance Agents of America National Association of Female Executives, Inc., featured in 1998 Membership Guide

Kansas Association of Insurance Agents

Professional Insurance Agents of Kansas

Independent Insurance Agents of America

Kansas City Minority Supplier Council

Member of Society of CISR

National Association Insurance Woman (NAIW ) Non-Dues Revenue Task Force

National Association Insurance Woman (NAIW ) Foundation Professional Scholarship Committee

Regional Vice President, Region V National Assn of Insurance Women, International

Greater Kansas City Insurance Association/NAIW- President, Secretary, Treasurer

Women's Chamber of Commerce

Kansas Society of Insurance Women

Heartland Computer Users Group-President

Metropolitan Insurance Council

National Association of Insurance Women, Int.l, Communications Task Force

Gemini Users Group, Region IX Representative, 9 state regions 1985-1989

American Business Women's Association

Insurance Women of Kansas City, Kansas

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE

U. S. Postal Service Customer Advisory Council

Friends of Yates, Inc. (Battered Women's Shelter)-Charter Member

United Way of Wyandotte County Board & Review Council

Kansas Children's Service League/Black Adoption-Past Board Member

Northwest Middle School "Heart to Heart" Communications-Chairman

Blacks and Hispanics Coalition on Infant Mortality-Board Member

Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)-Past President

Kansas City, Kansas Anti-Crime Commission-Charter Member

Quindaro Area Improvement, Inc.-Charter Member

K. C.  Ks. Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Advisory Council-Chairman

Kaw Valley Arts & Humanities

 

RELIGIOUS SERVICE

Past President, Midwest Conference Women’s Missionary Society

Past President (2nd time around) Kansas Nebraska Women’s Missionary Society

Budget & Financial Estimates Committee Chairman-Fifth District Women’s Missionary Society

Women's Information Bureau International Chairman-African Methodist Episcopal Church, World (Connectional) Women's Missionary Society

Fifth District Women's Missionary Society/AME Church-Second Vice President

PROJECT AMES-(Awareness Ministry for Empowerment Against Substance Abuse serving a 14-state region-Coordinator

Kansas Nebraska Women’s Missionary Society- President (5 years)

Greater Kansas City Ministers Wives & Widows Alliance-Past President

Cathedral Choir-Director

 

RECOGNITIONS & AWARDS

National Member of the Year AAMGA Award-NAIW National Convention-2001-Greensboro, NC

Insurance Professional of the Year-Region V 2001

Insurance Professional of the Year-Greater Kansas City Insurance Assn. 2001

Who's Who Among America's Business Executives, 1998 & 2003 Edition

"Most Outstanding Woman of Distinction", City of Kansas City, Kansas-Friends

of Yates, Inc., 1994

Kansas Association of Insurance Agents-1995 State of Kansas Outstanding CSR of the Year Award

One of Five Finalists in National/Outstanding CSR of the Year Award

Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award-Governor Joan Finney, State of Kansas

Christian Woman of the Year-Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

One of 50 Most Influential Women in Greater Kansas City

Insurance Woman of the Year-Kansas Society of Insurance Women

Insurance Woman of the Year-Insurance Women of Kansas City, Kansas

Volunteer of the Year-Kansas Children's Service League/Black Adoption

Heart of Gold Award-Northwest Missouri Women's Missionary Society

Outstanding Woman of the Year-Kansas Nebraska Women's Missionary Society

"We Love You" Award-Young People Department/AME Church

Outstanding Business Woman Award-Wy-Co Chapter American Businesswomen

"Special Portrait in Black" Award/Business-Northwest Missouri Women's Missionary Society

"Medallion Award"- Allen Chapel AME Church

 

PUBLIC SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES

CWC Speakoff Winner, Local, State, Regional 1993

CWC Speakoff Participant, NAIW National Convention, Vancouver, British Columbia

NAIW National Convention, Baltimore, Md. 1995

Region V, CWC Conductor, Chicago, Ill. 1996

NAIW National Convention, San Antonio, TX. 1997

Region IX, Keynote Speaker, Portland, Or. 1996

Region V, Keynote Speaker, Madison, WI., 1996

Region VII, Luncheon Speaker, Lincoln, NE. 1996

PIA Washington State Convention, Skamania Lodge, WA., 1997

PIA Oregon State Convention, Sunriver, OR., 1997

Graduation Speaker, Roosevelt Elementary School, KCKS, 1997

California State NAIW Conference, Keynote Speaker, Visalia, CA., 1997

Fort Scott Association of Insurance Professionals, Program Speaker, Fort Scott, KS 1997

Missouri State Council, NAIW, Keynote Speaker, November 1997

Oregon State Conference, NAIW, Keynote Speaker, October 1998

K County Insurance Professionals, Banquet Speaker, Portland, Oregon, October 1998

NAIW National Convention, Orlando FL, 1998

Seattle Association of Professionals, Banquet Speaker, Jan. 1999

Columbia Association of Insurance Professionals, Banquet Speaker, 1999

Region I, Regional Conference, Portland, Maine, March 1999

Workshop Presenter, NAIW National Convention, Las Vegas, July 1999

Workshop Presenter, NAIW Leadership Conference, Tulsa, OK, August 1999

Banquet Speaker, Insurance Professionals of Chicago, Chicago, Ill, September 8, 1999

Workshop Presenter, Leadership Training, Milwaukee, WI, Chula Vista Resort, Sept. 17, 1999

North Dakota State Meeting, NAIW, Bismarck, ND, Sept. 24-26, 1999

South Dakota State Meeting, NAIW, Sioux Falls, SD, October 1-3, 1999

Iowa State, NAIW, Sioux City, IA, October 8-10, 1999

Wisconsin State, NAIW, Fond du Lac, WI, October 15-17, 1999

Minnesota State, NAIW, St. Paul, Minn., October 22-24, 1999

Illinois State, NAIW, Schaumburg, Ill, Nov. 5-8, 1999

Missouri State, NAIW, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 12-14, 1999

Insurance Professionals of Chicago, May 2000

St. Paul Association of Insurance Professionals-2000

Insurance Association of Suburban Kansas City-Oct. 2000

CWC Instructor Certification Presenter-NAIW National Convention-Greensboro, NC 2001

Oregon State Meeting, Newport Beach, Oregon, 2001

Yamhill County Oregon Local Meeting, 2001

Region V- Keynote Speaker-Winston-Salem, North Carolina 2001

Region VII Keynote Speaker- Wichita, KS April 2002

Greater Kansas City Insurance Association, Keynote Speaker, June 2002

Keynote Speaker-National Association of Insurance Women-Anchorage, Alaska, May 2002

Insurance Professionals of Chicago, June 2002

Missouri State NAIW Workshop Presenter, November 2002 (How to Say NO)

Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company, Banquet Speaker, October 2002

Grinnell Mutual Insurance Company- Keynote Speaker, April 2002

National Association of Insurance Women-Speaker, June 2003

Region I, NAIW-Keynote Speaker, Atlantic City, New Jersey- March 2003

Region 9, NAIW-Keynote Speaker, Missoula, Montana – March 2003

Region 5, NAIW-Workshop Presenter, Minneapolis, Minnesota- March 2003

Region 7, NAIW-Keynote Speaker, Oakland, CA-March 2004

Speaker, American Business Women Association-April 2004

Presenter, NAIW, Pittsburgh, PA- June 2004

Presenter, NAIW Program, Managing Stress, September2006

Presenter, NAIW Program Team Building and Speaker, Region V-October 2006

RELIGIOUS SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES

St. Paul AME, KCKS

Trinity AME, KCKS

Allen Chapel AME, KCKS

St. John AME, Topeka, Kansas

Bethel AME, KC MO

Guiding Star Baptist, KCKS

First AME, KCKS

St. Luke, KCKS

St. Luke AME, Lawrence, KS

Brookins AME, Oakland, CA

Wayman AME, St. Louis, MO

St. Mark AME, Topeka, Kansas

St. John AME, Omaha, NE

Bethel, Hutchinson, KS

Strangers Rest Baptist Church, KCKS

Grant Chapel, Wichita, KS

Church of God in Christ, Olathe, KS

Workshop Presenter, AME Church, Los Angeles, CA

Workshop Presenter, AME Church, Houston, TX 1997

Ward Chapel AME Church, KCMO

First Baptist Church of Quindaro, KCKS 2001

Grant Chapel AME Church, KCK 2001

St. Paul AME Church, Independence MO 2002

Missouri Lay Convention

St. Luke AME Church, 2004

St. Paul AMEZ Church, 2004

Mt. Carmel COGIC, 2004

AME Workshop, St. Louis, 2004

Writer and Producer of 4 Religious and Musical Plays

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
June 25, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
First A.M.E. Church
1111 N. 8th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66102

Celebration of Life
Saturday
June 25, 2022

11:00 AM
First A.M.E. Church
1111 N. 8th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66102

Interment at Leavenworth
Monday
June 27, 2022

10:00 AM
Leavenworth National Cemetery
150 Muncie Rd
Leavenworth, KS 66048

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