~ Biography ~

"Bill was born in Piney by a midwife, Pleasy Martin. He graduated from Valley High School, Pine Grove, WV in 1962. He spent 8 1/2 years in the US Army serving in Fort Knox, KY; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Ind.; Seoul, Korea; Hanau and Bremerhaven Germany; Saigon, Vietnam; and Fort Monmouth, N.J.. He worked in the Army Postal Service for three years. He reenlisted and went to Computer Repair School. He finished his last year in the Army as an Instructor in Computer Repair at the US Army Signal School at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. 

After his time in the service, he went to work for AccuRay Corporation as a Field Service Engineer. He worked in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for them. He was promoted to Area Supervisor and Project Engineer while with AccuRay for 9 years.  He went to work for Consolidated Aluminum Corp., Hannibal, Ohio as a Electrical Supervisor in January 1981. He was promoted to Electrical General Foreman. In June 1995 he became the Electrical Planner for the Ormet Rolling Mill Products Division who had purchased the former Consolidated Aluminum Corp. On January 2, 2004 Bill took four weeks vacation and retired February 1, 2004.

He is continuing his hobby of genealogy and helping others find their roots. He has the Wetzel County, WV Genealogy Homepage which is part of WV GenWeb and US GenWeb." Written by Bill Cunningham

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~ Family ~

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Bill with his bride Barbara (Fankhouser).  Bill & Barb with their children Diana & Brian.  Bill & Barb with their grandchildren Hannah, Hailey, Chuck & step-grandson, Larry.  Bill & Barb Cunningham.


~ West Virginia 2012 History Hero ~

Past, present & future genealogists of Wetzel Co., WV have the legacy of Bill's research & genealogical website.  He truly loved compiling data, transcribing cemeteries, photographing headstones, assisting researchers & preserving his local history. He deservedly received the "History Hero" award in 2012, which is the highest historical honor in WV.

Billy Lynn Cunningham is a pioneer of Internet genealogy. When the WVGenWeb Project began in 1996, he became the county coordinator for Wetzel County, and since then he has helped people around the world research their Wetzel County families. He has compiled abundant genealogical information, provided tombstone transcriptions for most county cemeteries, and photographed countless gravestones. Bill also has taught computer skills to many people. His contribution to the preservation of Wetzel County’s history and genealogy is extensive, and he shares everything online. Bill is loved, respected, and appreciated by the countless thousands who have benefited from his hard work, expertise, and generosity.  Written by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.  Nominated by Joyce Yowler, Wetzel County WVGenWeb. 


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~ Obituary ~

Cunningham, Billy L., 69, of Piney died Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family. 

Billy was born December 1, 1944 in Piney, WV son of the late Leroy Guy and Lillian Pearl Judge Cunningham.

He was a retired Planning Supervisor for Ormet, a U.S. Army veteran who served eight and half years, a tour of Korea, two tours of Germany and one tour of Vietnam, while in the Army completed a course in computer repair, loved computers, collecting old town pictures, genealogy, maintained the Wetzel county Genealogy home page along with Joyce Yowler and Debra King.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Cunningham, sister, Pauline Crane and brother-in-law, Bernard Stormick.

Surviving are his wife, Barbara Fankhouser Cunningham; son, Brian Cunningham of Piney, WV; daughter, Diana Lynn Cunningham (Larry) Bailey of Clarington, OH; three brothers, Norman (Mary) Cunningham of Rutherfordton, NC, Jack (Sharon) Cunningham of Knoxville, PA and Franklin "Bud" (Pam) Cunningham of Piney, WV; two sisters, Betty Stormick of Clarksburg, WV and Freda Surgeon of New Martinsville, WV; brother-in-law, Henry Crane of Nutter Fork, WV,; three grandchildren, Hannah Cunningham, Hailey Cunningham and Chuck Tennant and step-grandson, Larry Bailey II.

At Billy's request there will be no service.
  Interment at the convenience of the family in the Cunningham Cemetery. 


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Bill Cunningham's Genealogical Database: Wetzel County, WV Connections

Bill Cunningham's Photos on Google +  Wetzel County, WV Photo's

Bill Cunningham's Memorial: Leave a Condolence










This page was created to honor Billy Lynn Cunningham.  There aren't many absolutes in this world, but these you can be sure of... Bill loved his family very deeply... He was a humble, quick-witted & lovable man. A true friend & comrade that I will miss every day.  I know he is enjoying his talks with the ancestors & getting the "real" stories! "Catch ya later" buddy....  We only part to meet again someday. ~Joyce Yowler