Juleen Cunningham, 94, Bismarck, died July 15, 2018 at her home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, July 23, 2018 at Church of the Ascension. Burial will be held at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Visitation will be on Sunday, July 22, from 4-6 p.m. at Bismarck Funeral Home with a rosary at 4:45 and a prayer service at 5:00. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
Juleen was born on a farm six miles west of Steele, to Henry B. (HB) and Anne (Christenson) Hanson, August 27, 1923. The family moved into Steele in 1925, where Mr. Hanson had a service station and sold International Harvester farm equipment. She attended Steele High School, graduating in 1941.
In 1939, her father purchased the defunct Woodworth Rustler equipment and established the Kidder County News weekly newspaper. Juleen along with her brother Harold learned the craft, which began their "college" education and became their lifetime career. In 1942, Harold was drafted into the Army and Juleen continued to publish the news with the aid of a young, Steele girl whom they had taught to run the linotype.
Juleen and Philip Cunningham were married in Alexandria, LA, December 1943. Philip was sent overseas in WWII at the end of February and Juleen returned to Steele to continue working in the Kidder County News. In 1944, Harold was sent overseas and his wife, Verna Hanson, returned from Oregon and joined Juleen at the newspaper. They were recognized statewide as the youngest editors and publishers at the time.
When her brother and husband returned from World War II in 1945, it was impossible to buy needed printing equipment. Hence, with the Kidder County News having the largest subscription list and was the official county paper, made a deal with the stockholder paper, The Steele Ozone, to merge the two businesses. Harold and Juleen were given permanent positions in the deal.
In August of 1947, Philip and Juleen moved to Washburn where they ran Cunningham's Bar until returning to Steele in 1950. Juleen worked for 14 more years at the Steele Ozone with Harold. In 1964, the family moved to Bismarck, where Juleen took a position as a linotype operator for the Bismarck Tribune. She left the Bismarck Tribune and went to work for Provident Life Insurance's in-house printing, where she worked for 12 years and retired as department manager in 1986.
During her lifetime, Juleen took part in both church and civic affairs. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary, Woodlawn Homemakers, Catholic Alter Society, Swimming Pool Board, and Kidder County Dem-NPL Women's Club and served on the Steele Diamond Jubilee committee as secretary. She worked with the American Legion Club that sponsored the Miss Steele Pageant for several years and served on the Miss Bismarck Pageant judging team. In the early sixties, she was appointed to the Governor's Committee to investigate mental health facilities in the state, endeavoring to alleviate institutionalizing patients in Jamestown and Grafton. The result was the legislature providing funds, establishing the group homes that we have in our communities in North Dakota. After her retirement, she joined RSVP and volunteered in Bismarck. Her favorites were the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House and St. Alexius Hospital.
Her greatest pride was her four sons: Michael, Patrick, Mark and Steven. Although she worked outside the home all her life, when they were growing up in Steele, they were able to be near her at the Ozone. She always said she had the best cook in Kidder County to manage her home, Mayme Collins, cared for their family for ten years at Steele and was also a part of the family when Collins and Cunninghams moved to Bismarck.
She is survived by her four sons, Michael and wife, Dorothy, Charlton, MA; Patrick of Boise, ID; Mark and Deb and Steven and Deanne, Bismarck. Eight grandchildren, Michael Cunningham, MA; Karen (Scott) Cunningham-Anderson, OH; Thad (Sarah) Cunningham, Boise, ID; James (Bree) Fode, Mandan; Melissa (Brian) Fode-Kelly, Colorado Springs, CO; Angela (Ryan) Hase, Fargo; Brent Wagner, Bismarck.
Eight great grandchildren; Leah Kay, Gabe and ¬¬Alexander Cunningham, Boise ID; Paityn, Mason Fode, Bismarck, Kaylie Fode, Mandan; Christian Kelly, Colorado Springs, CO; and Rayce Mann-Vogel, Bismarck; Taleah Sapin, Bismarck. Three great-great-grandchildren, Benson, Clayton and Calvin. She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Mildred Selland Hanson and Marilyn Cunningham, Bismarck and one brother-in-law, Douglas Cunningham, Apex, NC.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Bernice, two brothers, Donald and Harold Hanson, two nieces, Donna (Hanson) Novotny andSusan (Cunningham) Edwards; brothers-in-law Robert Cunningham and David Cunningham; sisters-in-law, Genevieve (Cunningham) Richards and Verna Hanson and one grandson John Vogel.