Cunninghams Mark 50th Anniversary

In July, NAFB President-Elect Gale Cunningham and his wife, Beth, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Cunningham met his future wife while in junior high school during Vacation Bible School at their church. Little did either one of them realize that in 11 years they would be married. They were married at Hopwood Chapel in the East Tennessee Hills, where they recently went back and revisited for their 50th celebration trip. They also visited their first apartment in Knoxville, Tennessee, and spent the remaining week of their anniversary at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Cunninghams raised three children: Tonya, Tyson, and Tara. They lost their son, Tyson, 14 years ago. They are “Grammy” and “Granddad” to five grandchildren.

Cunningham readily admits that his wife of 50 years deserves a medal. His career started and remained in banking and led him back to his passion for farming. Gale worked at several banks in his career and ended up in Watseka, Illinois, where he was farming. He retired from both 12 years ago.

“It takes a strong, patient, praying, and understanding wife to survive 50 years with a farm boy who had the farm work ethic times 10. I owe Beth for making the step into farm broadcasting. After the death of our son and retiring from farming and banking, she told me that my passion remains to ‘tell the story of agriculture, the rewards and the struggles.’”

Since his first time on-air at WITY (Danville, Illinois) to his full time daily work at WYXY Classic  99.1  FM (Champaign, Illinois), and from his childhood sweetheart to his wife of 50 years, Cunningham gives all the credit to a loving wife, God, and his two daughters.