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California Genealogy and History Archives


San Bernardino County


Byron Baker Cunningham

Byron was born Feb. 16, 1923, in Nebraska and was raised in Wyoming. He passed away July 18, 2012, from diabetic complications. Byron is survived by his wife of 65 years Connie (Chesebro), sons Ray and wife Patti of Rancho Cucamonga, Scott and wife Trudy of Big Bear, daughters Ann and husband Dave Shahan of Visalia and Cathy of Redlands. Four grandchildren Kyle, Katie, Candice and Travis. Two great grandsons Aidan and Blake Cunningham.

Upon graduation from high school in 1941, Byron enlisted in the service. He flew 29 combat missions for the 398th Bomb Group. He was shot down on his 29th mission over Germany. He was listed as M.I.A. and served the remainder of World War II as a P.O.W. After World War II, Byron attended the University of Wyoming. Shortly after graduation with a degree in Engineering, Byron and Connie moved to California where he worked in the aerospace industry. Byron retired from Lockheed after 33 years and moved to Big Bear.

Byron was active in numerous civic activities. He was active in Little League baseball for 33 years, retiring as District 23 Administrator. He was the First Commander of the Big Bear Citizen Patrol. He helped organize the Big Bear Meals on Wheels Program. He actively participated in the Free Firewood for Needy Senior Citizens. Byron was also a naturalist for the U.S. Forest Service at the Discovery Center in Big Bear.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the "Wounded Warrior" foundation. (800) 877-8326 - 4989 Belfort Rd., Ste. 300 - Jacksonville, FL., 32255.

"Big Bear Grizzly" Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 11:07 am

Submitted by: Peggy Hooper