Charlotte ("Shirley") A. Cunneff

Charlotte ("Shirley") A. Cunneff

Charlotte (“Shirley”) A. Cunneff died peacefully on June 3 at Care One at King James Nursing Home in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., with two of her five sons, David and Carl, by her side. She was 93.

Born in Philadelphia on Dec. 28, 1927, Shirley grew up in the Germantown section of the city, the oldest of two children of Charles and Ann Garvey. After attending Temple University and graduating from Moore College of Art & Design, both in Philadelphia, in the late 1940s, she went to work for a local department store as a sketcher of newspaper fashion ads. She married Dr. Raymond L. Cunneff in 1953, and the first of five sons, Raymond L. Cunneff III, came along the following year while Dr. Cunneff was serving in the Air Force in Washington, D.C., and Shirley was continuing her art studies at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design.

After Dr. Cunneff completed his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, they moved to Monmouth County, N.J., where she was a devoted wife and mother. She continued to do her art and was especially fond of the watercolor medium, earning membership to various art societies and exhibiting her work for sale and in juried competitions. She received numerous accolades for her art, including the Garden State Watercolor Society's Award for Excellence for a painting of abalone shells in 1996. Private collectors from Hawaii to Paris have displayed her work in their homes.

Other passions included travel, cooking and speaking out against the Vietnam War. In October 1967, she attended the march to "End the War" in Vietnam in Washington, D.C., wearing her mink coat to show that it wasn't just "hippies" protesting the war. Doctors' wives were opposed to it, too.

She was preceded in death by Dr. Cunneff in 1987, daughter-in-law Betsy in 2013, granddaughter Kiley in 2015 and her brother, Charles, in 2019. She is survived by her five sons and three daughters-in-law, Raymond and Lisa of Oceanport, N.J.; Joseph and Lia of Sugar Land, Texas; Thomas of Charleston, S.C.; David and Susan of Highlands, N.J.; and Carl, also of Highlands; and 11 grandchildren, David Brandon, Jordan, Raymond Jr., Jamison, Shane, Shannon, Katie, Erin, Hunter, Patrick and Charlie.

All services are private. Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, has been entrusted with the arrangements.


Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740