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Posted on Feb 20, 2018
Empty Saddles

Justin Cunningham - 1990 - 2018

 Justin David Cunningham, son of Gail and Suzanne (Peters) Cunningham, was born on April 6, 1990, in Yankton. He attended Bloomfield High School (NE) and graduated third in his class in 2008. He attended South Dakota State University from 2008 to 2014, graduating with his doctorate of pharmacy. He was a member of First Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomfield. He was also a member of the Kappa Psi Fraternity at SDSU. He was involved in the World Series of Team Roping (USTRC), Wrangler Ropings and the NTR.

Justin participated in the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association from 2004 to 2008. He was a team roper and a saddle bronc rider. He was on the National Nebraska High School Rodeo Saddle Bronc Team in 2007. Justin was an avid team roper. He qualified to rope in Las Vegas in 2016 and 2017 in the World Series Team Roping Finals.

His proudest moment was winning the No. 8 roping in Cheyenne, Wyo., in 2016, during Cheyenne Frontier Days. He won his last team-roping event on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, in Loveland. He certainly was a champion in all-aspects of his life. He also loved practice roping at Jobman Arena in Bayard. He never forgot a face.

Justin can best be described as extremely intelligent, outgoing and eager to talk to everyone about anything. He could argue with the best of them. He was a true Husker fan and Husker football season ticket holder. He loved his brother like no one can imagine; he surely was his biggest fan. He was completely honored to have been his best man at his wedding in 2017. He was also very close to his parents and longtime girlfriend, Abby Kijowski.

Justin loved Abby very much, as they were soulmates and had many plans for a long and happy future together. He was an accomplished pharmacist with a very bright career ahead of him. He worked at Bloomfield Pharmacy and Osmond Hospital before working for K-Mart. He was one of the youngest district managers that K-Mart ever had — managing up to 26 stores in six states. At the time of his death, he was working as a pharmacist for Safeway-Albertson’s in Alliance, while living on his acreage in Gering with Abby and their beloved dog, Maizy.

He is survived by his parents, Gail and Suzanne Cunningham of Bloomfield; his brother and sister-in-law, Dalton and Shaunna (Watts) Cunningham of Bloomfield; his longtime girlfriend, Abby Kijowski and their precious Corgi, Maizy; his maternal grandmother, Sharon Peters of Bloomfield; his paternal grandmother, Elda Cunningham of Wausa; his aunts and uncles, Dwain and Brenda (Peters) Larson of Norfolk, Doug and Deb (Clarkson) Cunningham of Omaha, LaVonne Cunningham of Kirkland, Wash., Jeff and Vicky (Cunningham) Erickson of York, Dave and Linda (Folck) Cunningham of Wausa, Tom Suhr of Wausa, Toni (Cunningham) Prince of Osmond, Curtis and Elizabeth (Cunningham) Maertins of Osmond; his goddaughter, Saige Cunningham, (daughter of Dallas and Chelsie Cunningham) of Mitchell, S.D.; and many, many cousins and dear, dear friends.

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