Hall of Fame Inductees » Robert Cunningham

Robert Cunningham

Robert (Bob) Cunningham is a 1953 graduate of Wheelersburg High School completing his high school requirements in three and a half years.  He immediately entered the Navy, finished basic training and returned to Wheelersburg while on leave to graduate with his classmates.

Mr. Cunningham proceeded to advanced training at the Naval Electronics School, Treasure Island, California.  After completing his training, he served on destroyers out of San Diego, California, maintaining and repairing onboard radar and communication equipment.  He was discharged in 1956 and continued in the active Navy Reserves for three more years while working full time and attending community college at night.  

Bob is a 1963 graduate of the University of California at Long Beach with a degree in electrical engineering.  His first job was as a design engineer on the Apollo Moon Lander project with North American Aviation.  In 1966 he changed careers and began working in the computer industry as a sales engineer.

When asked to reflect on the past 80 years, Bob remarked, “I never doubted that I could be successful and life as an adult would be better than as a child.  I spent my formative years in Hillcrest Children’s Home, the result of being born into an impoverished, dysfunctional family.”  Bob went on to reflect on his time at Hillcrest and Wheelersburg Schools; his tour in the Navy; his college years while working a full time job; working after graduation on the Apollo Moon Lander project with an aerospace company; and later working as a sales executive in the computer industry.  After completing his reflections, he looked up, smiled and said, “Not bad for a former ward of the county.”  

Bob and his wife Betty have been married for nearly 58 years.  They are the parents of two children, Brian (deceased) and Deanna, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  Bob and Betty live in Murphys, California.  Bob was not able to be present at the reunion.  His sister, Janet Doyle, received the award on his behalf.