Saturday, May 8, 2004

Mary Cunnick, 84, teacher at Withrow

Active in social justice causes

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mary McLaughlin Cunnick, a former English and Spanish teacher at Withrow High School and social activist, died April 24 in Brooklyn, N.Y., after a month-long illness. She was 84.

Mrs. Cunnick moved to Cincinnati soon after marrying Dr. John S. Cunnick, who came to complete his medical studies at the University of Cincinnati in 1944.

An advocate of social justice, she marched for civil rights in Washington during the 1960s and supported Cornerstone Community Loan Fund, a nonprofit that finances developments for low-income people.

Mrs. Cunnick was a member of the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, a coalition of denominations working together on social issues in Greater Cincinnati.

And she volunteered to help incarcerated adults work toward high-school equivalency diplomas.

She retired from teaching at Withrow in 1980.

She was born in Monticello, Iowa, in 1919 to William and Blanche McLaughlin. She graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa in Iowa City (1942) and received a master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1943.

Mrs. Cunnick was a deaconess and member of Knox Presbyterian Church in Hyde Park; and a member of the Campfire Girls, Pi Beta Phi sorority and P.E.O.

Mrs. Cunnick divorced in 1968. Dr. Cunnick died in 1989.

She moved to Brooklyn to live with her daughter, Heidi Cunnick, six months ago.

She was preceded in death by two sons, Joseph and John.

In addition to her daughter Heidi, survivors include three other daughters, Catherine Shick of Cincinnati, Carol Ballard of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Elisabeth Cunnick, also of Brooklyn; a sister, Elizabeth McLaughlin Casady; seven grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Visitation is 9 a.m. today at Knox Presbyterian Church, 3400 Michigan Ave., followed by a memorial service at 10:30 a.m.

Memorials: Cornerstone Loan Fund, 1115 Pendleton St., Suite 2 NW, Cincinnati, OH 45210.


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