Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham, 69, of San Marcos, died April 19 after a brief illness. Bill is survived by his wife of 33 years, Nevin, their son Drew and his sister Kaye Worrell and her family of Georgetown. He was preceded in death by his parents Ellen and Bill Cunningham, Sr.

Bill or Billy or Wild Bill, among many nicknames he garnered during his very colorful life, was a husband, a father, a son, a brother and a friend to scores of Texans, in places both high and low. He was a faithful servant and leaves many to mourn his death.

Born in Cuero, Texas, in 1949, Bill grew up in San Antonio and after his 1967 graduation from Thomas Jefferson High, he enrolled at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos. San Marcos became his home for the rest of his life.

He was the son of a newspaperman, and the ink was definitely in his blood from early on and until the end. He was a published author, a working journalist, an elected official and a gubernatorial appointee, among the many significant roles he played in his state and community.

While still a student at SWT, Bill was the first student elected to the San Marcos City Council in 1972. At 23, he was the youngest elected official in the city’s history. He remained intensely involved politics over the decades. Pick a political luminary of past decades. Bill worked for them writing news releases and speeches, making calls, and knocking on doors. He especially revered Governor Ann Richards. Governor Richards named Bill to the Texas State University System Board of Regents where he served as chair of the nine member panel. Another of his political mentors was U. S. Rep J. J. " Jake" Pickle. Mr. Pickle and several other leaders, such as John C. White, relied on Bill for his wise political counsel. Bill was also involved with the press department in Jimmy Carter's successful 1976 campaign, the last time a Democrat carried Texas.

Bill was an avid reader and collector of books, music and historical trivia. He operated his own successful public relations business and, after leaving that, he served a stint as director of the LBJ Museum of San Marcos. Bill befriended many an author, especially mystery writers, and enjoyed his work with the Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series as an editor of the Texas crime fiction anthology Lone Star Sleuths.

The real highlight of his life was his marriage in 1985 to Nevin who cared for and nurtured him in fighting ill health in his later years. She was a real Godsend for Bill.

A memorial service will be held May 18 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 3039 Ranch Road 12, San Marcos TX 78666 at 11 a.m. If you wish, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, or the Southwestern Writers Collection, or the charity of your choice.

For those wishing to make a contribution to the Southwestern Writers Collection in memory of Bill Cunningham, checks can be made payable to:

Texas State University

Attn: Advancement Services, JCK- 480

601 University Drive

San Marcos, TX 78666

For more information, call Thomason Funeral Home at 512-396-2300. To sign the guest registry please visit thier website.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666