Karen Cunningham

Karen Ruth Wisecarver Cunningham, daughter of Harold and Elsie Schultz Wisecarver, was born Dec. 20, 1943, in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Karen died at the Greene County Medical Center Long-Term Care Center on Aug. 23 at the age of 76 years.

Karen lived in Pennsylvania until she turned 10, when the family moved to Fairfield. She graduated from Fairfield High School in 1963.

On Feb. 8, 1964, she married Brian Elerick. They were the parents of two children: Beth Ann and Debra Renee. Karen worked as a telephone operator with the Fairfield Telephone Company.

She was later united in marriage to Eldon Cunningham. They were the parents of a son, Michael Anthony. They lived in Jefferson, where she worked as a telephone operator for the Jefferson Telephone Company. 

She later became a certified nurses assistant and in 1984 began working at the Jefferson Manor. She worked for 10 years in the Alzheimer’s Unit until retiring due to her health in 2005.

Karen enjoyed ballroom dancing, jazz music and poetry, and had published three poetry books. She also enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fishing and gardening. She was a member of the DOES and four Bridge clubs.

Karen is preceded in death by her parents; sister Peggy Scott; brother Harold Wisecarver; and special friend, Donald Skalla.

She is survived by her children: Beth Elerick, of Jefferson; Debra (Shane) Monthei, of Jefferson; and Michael (Jeri) Cunningham, of Jefferson; nine grandchildren: Kyle Titmus, Gabriella Varricchio, Lauren Varricchio, Alexandria Varricchio, Jonathan Varricchio, Anthony Cunningham, Bailey Cunningham, Chanlyn Cunningham and Maddox Cunningham; her sisters, Valerie Bussey and Renee Zimmerman; sister-in-law Carol Wisecarver; nieces; nephews; other relatives; and friends.

A visitation with family present to greet friends was held Aug. 25 at the Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home in Jefferson.

A private family burial will take place at a later date in the Jefferson Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to Unity Point Hospice.

Online condolences may be left at sliningerschroeder.com.

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161