A visitation and celebration of the life of Mary Cunningham was held at Funeraria Del Angel Humphrey, on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Rose Chapel, located at 753 Broadway, Chula Vista, Calif. 91910. She died Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in a Chula Vista hospital at the age of 95.
Mary Saltsman Cunningham was born April 24, 1919, in Minot, to George and Alice B. Saltsman. She attended Williston Elementary and Williston High School where Mary graduated valedictorian of her senior class in 1937. After receiving a scholarship, Mary attended St. Olaf College. However, in 1943, Mary changed her career path and enlisted in the Navy. She was sent to Naval Supply School in San Francisco in 1944. As a female naval supply sailor, Mary traveled in both the U.S.A. and England.
At the end of the war, Mary returned to Minot to attend Minot Business College and became an accountant. After completing college, she worked in the county assessor's office before being recalled by the Navy in 1951. She was assigned supply check positions in California and Hawaii. She was assigned as a Navy recruiter in the states of Washington and California. Mary received many outstanding honors while serving as a female in the Navy.
While working in Burbank, Calif., Mary met and married Senior Chief Donald F. Cunningham in 1960. Mary also became a master chief while serving in Monterrey, Calif. The honor of master chief was a position few women experienced during their military career.
Mary retired in December 1970 and she and Donald (passed 2005), chose to live in Chula Vista for the remainder of their lives.
She was predeceased by: her husband, Donald F. Cunningham; brother, George J. Saltsman; sister, Mable Saltsman; and nephew, Craig Saltsman.
Surviving relatives are: Mary Saltsman, sister-in-law; and nephews, George Saltsman and Bill Saltsman.
Visitation will be: Thursday, Aug. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Burial will take place: Friday, Aug. 22, at 1 p.m. at Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).