Thomas J. Cunningham – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report

Retired Army Colonel Thomas J. Cunningham Jr., 76, who handled media relations for General William Westmoreland in Vietnam, was editor of Army Digest and European editor of Stars and Stripes, died Jun 26, 1995 at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. No cause of death was given.

Born in Pittsburgh, he graduated from Indiana Univ and later earned a master's degree in public relations from the American University. He also graduated from the U.S. Army Management School and the Command and General Staff College.

He entered the Army as a private in 1941, beginning a 26-year career in the military that ended with his 1967 retirement as chief of the command information division of the Army's Office of Information.

His military honors include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. He was Secretary-Treasurer of the U.S. Armor Association and editor of Armor magazine.

His civilian career included communications jobs with the National Defense Transportation Assn, American Wood Preservers Institute, the Retired Officers Association, the National Center for Resource Recovery and the National Moving and Storage Associationn. For the past seven years, Colonel Cunningham was a communications and marketing consultant for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and a consultant to the American Society of Naval Engineers.

A member of the Overseas Press Club, Colonel Cunningham co-wrote “Clarke of St Vith,” a biography of General Bruce C. Clarke.

He was a member of Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Alexandria, a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus and past vice president of the Colonel John F. Fitzgerald Division of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.

He is survived by his wife, Marcella; three daughters Connie Venberg, Sarah Dina, Kathryn Starr; five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated today at 1 p.m. at Queen of Apostles church, followed by burial with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of donations to the Ancient Order of Hibernians Thomas J. Cunningham Jr. Scholarship Fund, Knights of Columbus, 6729 Little River  Turnpike, Annandale, Va., 22003.

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