Carolyn Cunningham

Carolyn Cunningham

Longtime businesswoman Carolyn Ann Cunningham, who owned and operated Carolyn’s Hair Care Center in West Philadelphia for 40 years, died on Thursday, July 23, 2020. She was 77.

Cunningham was born in Brewton, Alabama, on Dec. 31, 1942. She was the seventh child born to the late J.B. Cunningham and the late Hattie Elizabeth Cunningham.

Cunningham received her early education in the Brewton School District. When the family moved to Philadelphia, she continued her education in the School District of Philadelphia, where she graduated from Overbrook High School.

After high school, Cunningham attended the Apex School of Cosmetology, the first African-American cosmetology college, from which she received her degree and was certified to teach and train students in cosmetology.

She later taught cosmetology in the Runnemede School District in Runnemede, New Jersey. She owned and operated Carolyn’s Hair Care Center in West Philadelphia for four decades.

Cunningham was raised in a Christian home and attended Vine Memorial Baptist Church, where she accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal savior and was baptized in 1953 under the pastorate of the late Rev. Leonard George Carr. She was a member of the Children’s and Young People’s Usher Board, graduating to the Young Adult Ushers, and ultimately moving to the Senior Usher Board. In her young adult years, Cunningham also sang on what was then called the Young Adult Choir.

She was an active member of Henry R. Shockley Chapter 68 of the Order of the Eastern Star. She served on several committees and was a past Worthy Matron.

Cunningham enjoyed traveling, including trips to Paris, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Hawaii and numerous trips to California with her sister, Beverly. Each year, she enjoyed excursions to the Radio City Music Hall and dining out in New York City during the Christmas holidays.

She is survived by: her sister, Beverly Cunningham Levere; brothers, Craig and John Cunningham; and other family and friends.

Funeral services will take place on Thursday, July 30, at 10:30 a.m. at the Wood Funeral Home, 5537 W. Girard Ave. A viewing will precede the service at 9 a.m.

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