In Memory of



Obituary for Dean Cunningham

Dean M. Cunningham, 88 of North Bend, Nebraska passed away peacefully Monday, January 30, 2023 at his home. He was born May 6, 1934 in Tekamah, NE to Raymond and Garnet (Martin) Cunningham.

He grew up in Tekamah and graduated from Tekamah High School in 1952. Dean served in the US Navy from January 14, 1955 to December 31, 1958. After his Military service he attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where he earned his B.S. Degree in Physical Education and Social Sciences in 1961.

In the Fall of 1961, Dean began a 40 plus-year career of working with Nebraska Public Schools. He was a teacher, coach, Principal and Superintendent. He worked in Exeter, Tekamah, Hooper, Logan View, East Butler, Haigler, Prague, Thedford, Greeley Marquette and North Bend School Districts. Along the way he continued his own education at UNL earning his Masters Degree in Educational Administration in 1965 and a Specialist Degree in Education Administration in 1978. He also started Cunningham Educational Services where he supervised and consulted for Class 1 School Districts 5, 14, 36, 50 and 70 from 1996 through 2004 before retiring for good.

Dean was the original “old school” style who believed in and practiced discipline, respect and accountability everywhere he went. He was tough, but he was fair. He tried not to expel anyone from school as he felt that was taking the easy way out. He ruffled a few collars, slapped a few behinds and gave a few hugs at the perfect time to “reach” every student he could.

He liked cinnamon rolls, KFAB, paying by check, feeding birds & squirrels, voting Democrat, John Deere mowers, Alpine cigarettes, shopping in Fremont, Little Debbie Snacks, Kentucky Derby, hockey, Manheim Steam Roller, Loons, strawberry malts, Storz beer, puzzles, having cats and driving a Buick. His favorite hobby was fishing…thinking about fishing and talking about fishing. He hated raisins, loud & obnoxious people, missed free throws, $5 gas and being late. He loved his family and friends especially his grandkids & great grandkids in his own special way, anything made with blueberries, clearance sales, prime rib at Leroy’s and a winning attitude.

Dean is survived by sons, Mark (Pam Murphy) Cunningham of Grant, NE and Michael (Lisa) Cunningham of Lincoln NE; 4 grandchildren Matthew (Katherine) Cunningham, Joshua (Eva) Cunningham, Megan (Andrew) Paulsen, Logan (Lindsey) Cunningham; 9 great-grandchildren (Makinley, Delaney, Quinnlyn, Ailyn, Liam, Rileigh, Zahra Cunningham, Milo, Maizel Dean Paulsen and grand-neighbors Olivia, Marie Starkey. Extended family, Mack Weatherly family of Tekamah, Tim, Gladys, Francis, Heidi, Sara, Mike, Frank, Audra, Scott of North Bend, countless students, Faculty members, staff and Administrators Dean worked with across the state of Nebraska.

Dean was proceeded in death by his parents; two brothers, Howard and Donald Cunningham.

Funeral will be 11 A.M., Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at Moser Memorial Chapel in Fremont. Rev. Scott Jensen will officiate. Visitation will be Tuesday from 10-11A.M., prior to the service.

Interment with Military Honors conducted by the US Navy Honors Team. North Bend VFW Post #8223 & AmVets Post #20 and Morse Bluff American Legion Post #340 at approximately 1:30 P.M. at Woodland Cemetery in North Bend.

Memorials are suggested to the North Bend Central Foundation for the North Bend Elementary School.

Online condolences may be left at

Moser Memorial Chapel, 2170 N. Somers Ave, Fremont NE 68025, 402-721-4490.