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Obituaries > 2017 - Michael Cunniff


ROCK FALLS – Michael Cunniff, 68, of Rock Falls, died Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, at Good Samaritan in Prophetstown.

Michael was born July 19, 1949, in Sterling, the son of Thomas W. and Barbara (Stewart) Cunniff. He was a 1967 graduate of Newman High School. He then graduated from Sauk Valley Community College with an associate degree, and in 1972, from the University of Illinois with a Bachelors in Science. Michael was a sports editor-writer for the Ottawa Daily Times, Sterling Daily Gazette, Dixon Telegraph, and Morris Daily Herald. He was awarded the “Illinois Sports Writer of the Year.” He co-founded the Ottawa Fast Pitch Softball League; was a coach for the Flex Gym Crushers for many years; and was an umpire for girls’ softball. Michael was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. He was a Whiteside County Master Gardener, and loved flowers, especially gladiolus. Michael was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Tampico. 

Survivors include his daughter, Sarah (Josh) Cunniff Freeman of Chicago; his son, Ryne Cunniff of Ottawa; one sister, Mary Jagers of Annawan; one brother, Paul Cunniff of Rock Falls; two nieces, Amy Strohman and Stephanie VanHerzeele; and three nephews, Matthew Cunniff, Jonathan Cunniff, and Tom Jagers. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Philip Cunniff. 

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m., with the rosary recited at 4:15 p.m., Friday at Garland Funeral Home in Tampico. The Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Tampico, with the Rev. Richard Russo officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery in Tampico. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Good Samaritan in Prophetstown, Vitas Hospice, or Loyola Medical Center in Maywood.  

Visit garlandfuneralhome.com to send condolences.

TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicohistoricalsociety@gmail.com  President Joan Johnson, 815-438-7581 or garyjoan@thewisp.net  Family History Coordinator, Denise McLoughlin 815-590-2143. We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK, too.