Judith Irene “Judy” Cunningham, 77, of Sedalia, passed away Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at Cedarhurst of Sedalia.
She was born September 27, 1944, in Sedalia, oldest daughter of the late Lawrence and Marie (Mittenburg) Rothganger. On August 24, 1962, she married Marvin L. Cunningham who survives.
Judy was a 1962 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. She was a career military wife which took them to many places in the US and abroad. During that time, she was a homemaker and devoted to raising her two sons.
While living at Fort Benning, Georgia in the early 1970’s, she learned the art of belly dancing. After Marvin retired from the military, they returned to Sedalia. She then opened a belly dancing costume business and traveled the world to buy costuming supplies and sell her handiworks. Judy helped shape the mid-west belly dance community with her enthusiasm, passion, and commitment. Judy was well regarded for her belly dance workshops held in Sedalia annually. Those workshops generated a deep interest and love for the art by dancers throughout the US that continues to this day.
As she got older and unable to shimmy and shake as well as a younger Judy, she spent time volunteering for the Blind of Central Missouri and Open Door Thrift Shop.
Judy loved her family and especially enjoyed taking her grandchildren on trips and adventures through most of the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, and Alaska.
In addition to her husband, Marvin, she is survived by two sons, Keith Cunningham, of California, and Gary Cunningham (Cammie), of Fulton; her sister, Jerry Rothganger, of Sedalia; six grandchildren, Ryan, Collin, Olivia (Hoek), Carlie, Sophia and Marta; and one great-grandson, Phineas.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Stephen Rothganger.
Visitation will be 9:00 a.m. Saturday, August 6, 2022 at Heckart Funeral Home until funeral time at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Candace Fowler officiating. Burial will be in Mount Herman Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to American Cancer Society in care of the funeral home.