John Holland Cunningham

May 30, 1946 - March 2, 2022

John Holland Cunningham passed away March 2, 2022, surrounded by family and loved ones, on Bainbridge Island, Washington. John was born May 30, 1946, in Whittier, California, attended La Serna High School and the University of Oregon/Eugene for one year.

John spent his career working as a lineman (SCE, WWP, BEC, PP/PSE, SCL) and in the IBEW union hall representing workers. Serving the community was a passion of John’s. He served on Planning and Zoning, City Council/Moscow ID), and most recently the Utility Task Force for Bainbridge Island.

At the age of forty, he found sobriety and was a member of AA until his passing. The many, many relationships that he enjoyed through the program were of great importance to him and served as a solid foundation to his life.

John was a life-long learner, and took a BA degree from Labor College/Antioch University in his 50s and a Master’s Degree from Gonzaga University in Servant Leadership in his 60s. He read El Pais daily and did his best to support small book stores across the planet. He loved to cook and during the pandemic had fun experimenting with soda bread recipes.

John and his wife Kate loved to walk and enjoyed pilgrimages in Europe and Japan and snorkeling in Hawaii. During the pandemic, they’ve put on the miles in local trails on Bainbridge and the Kitsap Peninsula.

Although born and raised in Southern California, Bainbridge Island is where he called home. John loved iced coffee (he tithed regularly at Starbucks), a good book and sun on his face., and said Ho-Hum frequently. “We get to experience life,” he often said, and he certainly did. When the sun was out, you would see him on his front porch looking out at Mt. Rainier in shorts and bare feet.

John is preceded in death by his father, Harry Don Cunningham, mother, Marjorie Holland Cunningham and step-mother Mary Cunningham. John is survived by his loving wife, Kathleen (Kate) O’Brien, brother, Richard Cunningham (Michelle), sons, Don Cunningham (Heather), Fred Cunningham (Alicia), Matt Cunningham (Annette), Scott Beaudry (Xiuli), Chris Beaudry (Susan), grandchildren, Zach, Stratton and Vivian Cunningham, Ellie and Tommy Beaudry, niece, Sarah Cunningham (Patrick), and many loving friends and co-workers.

A celebration of John’s life including lots of time for fellowship will be held on Sunday, June 5 th at Islandwood Environmental Center on Bainbridge Island from 12:30-3:30pm PDT. Those who cannot attend in person, can attend the program component on-line via Zoom (roughly 1-2pm PDT). Please send a request for a ZOOM invite to If you wish to make a donation in John’s name, his favorites included ACLU, SPLC or any civil rights organization, as well as those promoting literacy (because “if you can read, you can lead”). For the unabridged tribute, see the obituary pages at