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Albert

Albert Joseph Cunningham

d. June 19, 2020

Dr. Albert Joseph Cunningham Born in Philadelphia, PA July 30, 1944 died suddenly on June 19, 2020 in Williamsport, PA Al overcame his early years defined by poverty, strife and hardship. He persevered and achieved great things with great virtue. He was decent, dependable and could always be relied upon when help was needed. He first found his passions for singing and adventure while in high school that would continue to lead him to many wonderful experiences, challenges and accomplishments. Al, the oldest of 5 siblings, was the first person in his family’s entire history to attend college and earn any degree. He earned a BA and MA in History, and Doctorates in both Law and Education, all from Temple University. Al’s career in Education advanced through many stages of accomplishment. He began by teaching 10 years at a junior high in North Philadelphia. This school was nearby Temple University, where Al took classes at night to complete his Master’s Degree in History and then a Law Degree. Al practiced Law as an attorney for a year or two in the early 80’s. After finishing his Law Degree, in 1981 Al passed the Pennsylvania Bar exam and changed careers – accepting a position for a small law firm in Doylestown before returning to teaching. Al was involved with local politics and was elected as an Abington Township Commissioner for several years in the 1980s. He earned a coveted job at Independence Park, beating out 800 other qualified candidates, giving historic tours and lectures to school classes. Following his service as a High School vice principal and middle school principal in the Kutztown school district, Al became an assistant superintendent then superintendent in two separate districts. He was proud to have helped found a new technical high school near Montoursville. After retiring as superintendent he continued to teach law school classes for several years. Al had a very good singing voice and was a classically trained vocalist who sang as part of the hand-picked chorus of the world-famous Philadelphia Orchestra, including several popular recordings. While an undergrad student at Temple he was approached and offered voice lessons by the now world renowned choral director Robert Page who he would go on to solo for and remain great friends. He was a paid vocalist for various churches and sang at Temple’s Law School graduation ceremonies for many years. He was an avid and enthusiastic chess player, loved tennis and collected stamps, coins and political buttons to go along with his collection of over 200 commemorative plastic models of WWII-era US military ships. He was an avid outdoorsman, white-water kayaker, hiker, cross-country skier, rock climber and spelunker. He managed a local YMCA wilderness camp near Jim Thorpe to earn money during summers when his schoolteacher’s job was in recess. He led camping excursions with dozens of people relying on his guidance. Al climbed The Matterhorn, Mt Hood, Mt Rainier, Mt. St Helens, Mt. Adams, and attempted Mt Blanc during a snowstorm. He climbed Mt Washington over 50 times and fell in love with the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He was at home on the Appalachian Trail. Al was a man of faith. He loved history and his personal connections. Al was loved by his family. We will miss him dearly.
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