Rachel S. (Apodaca) CunninghamMarch 18, 1917 ~ December 25, 2017 (age 100)
Rachel S. (Apodaca) Cunningham of Santa Fe was 100 years old when she died on December 25, 2017. She was born in Tome, NM to Adelino and Rosela Sanchez in 1917. She was preceded in death by husbands John D. Apodaca and Samuel Cunningham, daughter Judith Merrigan, her parents Adelino and Rosela Sanchez, and eight of eleven siblings. Mrs. Cunningham is survived by her daughters, Joan R. Duran (Melvin G.) and Gloria A. Brooks (David W.); brothers Adelino Sanchez Jr. and Anthony Sanchez, and sister Josefa Burch; four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.
Mrs. Cunningham graduated from Solomon Luna High School in 1934, and received a Bachelor of Science Education degree from the University of New Mexico in 1938. Following her graduation from UNM, she served as supervisor with the National Youth Administration in Mora County. She also taught home economics in Wagon Mound, served as home management supervisor with the Farmers Home Administration in Las Vegas, NM, and was a field nutritionist with the New Mexico Department of Health.
Mrs. Cunningham joined the NMSU extension service in 1948, serving as the Santa Fe County Home Demonstration Agent. She developed educational programs in home economics and 4-H programs. She helped develop eight adult extension clubs with more than 100 members and 24 4-H clubs with more than 500 members, all in her first 12 years with the Santa Fe County Extension Service. Mrs. Cunningham worked with numerous local Santa Fe County residents to provide nutritional education programs. And she served on many other professional and civic committees. Mrs. (Apodaca) Cunningham was awarded the prestigious National Home Demonstration Agent Distinguished Service Award in 1960 for “long and efficient service to the Home Economics Extension field program”. She also was part of an NMSU research team who developed a new and meatier green Chile, now known as the “Big Jim”.
Mrs. Cunningham retired from New Mexico State University in 1975. However, retirement didn’t last long as she was offered a consulting position in 1977 to develop and teach nutritional programs in Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia, and Venezuela. This position was the start of her love of traveling world wide.
Mrs. Cunningham’s funeral services will be held at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church in Santa Fe on January 9 beginning at 10 a.m. Inurnment will immediately follow at Rosario Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donation to a charity of your choice in Mrs. Cunningham’s name