BLOOMINGTON — Gene Lee Cunningham, 81, passed away Nov. 27, 2019, at his home in Bloomington.
He was born Dec. 6, 1937, in Bloomington, the son of the late Harry and Irene Cunningham. A lifelong resident of Bloomington, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years, two months and 17 days.
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Gene loved kids and built Skate N Place in Bloomington in 1973. The 42 years he spent owning and operating Skate N Place with his wife were some of happiest times in his life. He also operated Cunningham Enterprises and Illinois Pinball which shipped pinball parts worldwide. During his time at Illinois Pinball, he built Big Bang Bar, another one of his great accomplishments.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Georgianna Cunningham. He leaves behind his children, Kimberli and Dan Carter, Wayne David Simmons, Rich Tewell, Jeana (Russell) Ballinger, Kelli (Chris) Brown, J.R. Cunningham and Gina Lynn Cunningham; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Gene was preceded in death by daughter, Tami Lynn Pate, and grandson, Michael Paul Miller.
A celebration of life honoring Gene will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Miller Park Pavilion, Bloomington. Flowers and memorials can be sent to 104 Weldon St., Bloomington.