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Coney Cunningham

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May 29, 1944 – September 26, 2023

Unexpectedly on September 26, 2023, Coney passed away at the age of 79 surrounded by family and awash with love. Her death is an enormous loss to all who knew her.


Coney is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Ted; children, Dennis (Randi), Ainsley, and Neil (Amanda). She will be deeply missed by her grandchildren, Tekla, Ellis, Will and Norah. Also mourning her passing are her dear sisters, Maroah (Ray) and Lorise (Randy); brother Wayne (Maureen); sisters-in-law, Carole, Heather, and Susie (Bob); as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Coney was a constant source of courage, solace, friendship, and care to them all. She is predeceased by her father Garnet; mother Anne; father-in-law Raymond; mother-in-law Marjorie; siblings Beatrice, Joe, and Wendy; brother-in-law Harry; and nephews, Kevin, and Jarrett. Grand-dogs Dezzy, Sage and Emma will miss her treats, belly scratches, and walks.


She graduated from Children’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1966 but devoted several years after graduation to raising her family. She returned to nursing in the early 1980s, working at Riverview Health Centre until retiring at 55. She formed lifelong friendships throughout her career. Members of her nursing class, her coworkers and many of the families of people she cared for were all saddened to learn of her passing.


Coney and Ted loved to travel. Together they saw so much of Canada and the world; touring throughout the east coast while living in Nova Scotia. Later, they headed north, exploring the Dawson Trail in a Volkswagen Westphalia and then went west in their Boler trailer. International travel included several visits to Japan while Neil was there, many cruises on the riverways of Europe, and trips to Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, China, France, and Russia. One particularly memorable trip was taken with Tekla and Ellis to the Black Hills of South Dakota and Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta.


There were many strong constants in her life. She was a person of deep spirituality and faith which served her well when she confronted traumas from her past and when dealing with the loss of family members.


She had a deep connection with nature. She valued the time she and Ted spent sailing on Lake of the Woods, holidaying at Royal Lake and Jessica Lake where she was happiest in her blueberry patches picking with quiet intensity. She cherished swimming in clear waters with Will and Norah at Minaki. Later, time spent at Ainsley’s cottage in Sandy Hook gave her time to read, relax, walk, and laugh. Her gardening skills were second to none. Flowers and vegetables flourished under her care. She always turned her bounty into delicious meals. A skill she passed on to Dennis who has become a chef in his own right, carrying on her legacy in the kitchen.


You could count on her to pick up litter and recycling on her daily walks. She collected thousands of dollars in aluminum cans, bottles, and hub caps over the decades. In the process she also found assorted items to share with her grandkids (animal skulls, bird feathers, etc.). Once she found a loaded handgun that was quickly reported to the police. It was all in a day’s walk for her.


Coney loved her grandchildren dearly. She rarely missed attending their games, concerts, and other special events. She was so proud of all of them.


She hated injustice and committed herself to causes with unrelenting determination. She was part of a grassroots group who successfully fought the Nova Scotia government all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada over the location of a proposed landfill. As a union representative, she supported her coworkers at Riverview. And most recently, participated in rallies supporting MMIWG causes at the Legislative Building.


Woe betide the politician on the receiving end of Coney’s wrath. She managed on numerous occasions to provide provincial ministers with constructive criticism on their policies and performance. Prior to her passing she made sure to vote in the 2023 provincial election advanced polls and had an “issues of concern” list on hand should a candidate knock on the door.


Most of all Coney loved her family and friends. She gave unconditionally the gifts of her time, her trust, her ear, her loyalty, her baking, and her voice. She encouraged us to be kind and generous, to foster goodness in ourselves and others, to embrace adventure and joy, to work hard with honest effort, and to leave your community better than it was when you arrived.


Coney’s family would like to thank the EMTs who were first on the scene and the neurology team and nurses at Health Sciences Centre Emergency who provided her with exceptional care and treated family members with compassion and understanding during those difficult, final hours.


A memorial service for Coney is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, 3 St. Vital Road. A reception will follow the service.


In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Coney’s name to Heartwood Healing Centre, Toba Centre, Forward House or a charity of your choice.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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