Mabel Cunningham

1918 - 2012

Mabel K. Houf Cunningham, 93, of Montgomery City, died on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at the New Florence Nursing and Care Center in New Florence. One of ten children, Mabel K. Houf Cunningham was born near Middletown, on November 17, 1918, to Gordon Clare Houf and Thora Jeanette White Houf. Teaching was her lifelong passion. Upon graduating from Middletown High School, she received an offer to teach in a one-room school near Williamsburg. She received teacher training at the College of the Ozarks (now the University of the Ozarks) in Clarksville, Ark. from 1937 until 1938. While continuing to teach, she worked on a teaching degree, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1955. Mabel taught elementary students for 44 years. Her first ten years were spent in Callaway County at High Point, Gregory, Williamsburg and Grant Schools. The remainder of her career was spent in Montgomery County at New Florence, Bellflower, and Jonesburg. Hundreds of fifth grade students have named Mrs. Cunningham as their teacher. Mabel married Herbert Hansen Cunningham in High Hill, on December 31, 1944, and they made their home in Montgomery City. Herbert preceded her in death on January 25, 1991. Mabel was a member of the Montgomery City Christian Church, as well as the Montgomery County Area Retired School Personnel Association. Following retirement, she and her husband were "winter Texans" for several years, living in the Harlingen area; they enjoyed square dancing in Texas as well as in their home community. Mabel was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star #323 in Warrenton. Preceding Mabel in death were her parents; her husband; brothers, William Houf of Miller, Sam Houf of Wichita, Kan., Harry Houf of Wellsville, and Raymond Houf of Unionville; and sisters, Virginia Daniels of Aurora, Evelyn Paris of Kansas City, Cannie Christenson of Vandalia, and Alice Garrett of St. Louis. Surviving are: her sister, Ruth McDannold of Mexico; sister-in-law, Betty Houf of Mexico; and many nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, 2012, at the Schlanker Funeral Home in Montgomery City. The Reverend Gary Bailey will officiate and interment will be in the Fairmount Cemetery in Middletown. Visitation will be held from Noon until the time of service on Saturday at the Schlanker Funeral Home in Montgomery City. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the student scholarship fund of the Montgomery County High School or The American Cancer Fund, c/o Schlanker Funeral Home, 207 Danville Road, Montgomery City, MO 63361. Condolences may be made to