On Saturday evening, May 16, 2020, an angel gained its wings to be with the Lord. On that day, Martha Elvira Cunningham, 89, passed away peacefully at Novant Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Martha was born on February 16, 1931 in Norfolk, Virginia to the late Sonnie Flyth and the late Luvenia Parker Flyth. She was the second youngest of four children. Because she was the only daughter, the family nicknamed her “Sister”.
After attending public school in Norfolk, she met and married the late Lloyd Nickens, and gave birth to Evon, her first child. Martha later relocated to Perth Amboy, New Jersey in the early 1950’s where she met and married the late Wallace Cunningham. Through this union she was blessed with three step-daughters: Beverly, Renee, and Denise, and gave birth to two sons, Mark and Kevin.
Martha returned to Norfolk in the early 1970’s. She worked in the U.S. Naval Base in Norfolk, and subsequently worked for the Norfolk City Public Schools System until her retirement. In 2013, she relocated to North Carolina to live with her son and daughter-in-law Kevin and Yulonda Cunningham.
Martha was a devoted Christian. She worshiped at the Norfolk Deliverance Center where she was a member of the choir and helped to conduct the children’s Sunday school. She was also a member of the Norfolk Deliverance Center Community Choir. She was an avid reader of the Bible and she enjoyed attending Bible study at her church. She also enjoyed watching Christian television programs. and would support Christian charitable organizations.
Martha truly cared for her community as well. She participated in the Neighborhood Watch chapter that was located in the Oakwood Section of Norfolk. She also did not hesitate to help other community residents who were in need if she was able to do so. She enjoyed shopping, watching detective mysteries and westerns on television, and she tried her best to keep up with the latest health food trends.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her brothers Moses and Elmer Flyth, her eldest son Mark Cunningham, and daughters Evon Brown and Renee Cunningham.
Left to cherish her loving memory is her brother, the Reverend Kenneth Flyth, Sr., her son Kevin (Yulonda) Cunningham, her step-daughters Beverly Harrison and Denise Cunningham, her daughter-in-law Kathy (of the late Mark Cunningham),14 grand-children, over 50 great-grandchildren, and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends whom she loved very much.
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