Treva "Nell" Freeburg Cunningham

October 12, 1935 - April 3, 2018

Treva “Nell” Freeburg Cunningham, 82, formerly of Richardson, Texas, passed away Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at The Ivy in McKinney, Texas where she had been a resident since 2016. Nell was born October 12, 1935, in Clayton, New Mexico to parents, Wallace Stanley Freeburg and Rosa Mathilda Killer Freeburg.  As the fourth and youngest child, her father chose the name, Treva for her. Her father recalled a little girl from his childhood named Treva and it was a name he always liked.  During her lifetime, Nell lived in New Mexico, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Prior to moving to McKinney, Texas she was a 42-year resident of Richardson, Texas. She lived in Richardson with her husband, Paul of 59 years until his passing on April 19, 2014.  Nell and Paul met in high school in Ava, Missouri and later married in Biloxi, Mississippi where Paul was stationed in the Air Force.  They had three children, Paul David (Race), Jean-Marie and John. 

During her life, she enjoyed a career as a technical editor for Raytheon prior to retirement. She was a longtime member at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church prior to her illness and enjoyed memberships with the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Red Hat Society for women. Nell also enjoyed traveling the world. She traveled of over 20 different countries with her husband including a brief residency in Saudi Arabia.

Nell was known for her quick wit and sense of humor. She had a fondness for making people laugh.  Nell was an avid coffee drinker, she enjoyed cross word puzzles with her coffee in the morning or lively conversation while often reminiscing over humorous childhood stories of growing up in Clayton, New Mexico with her parents and siblings. She loved to retell the story of once putting coffee in paper then attempting to smoke the coffee with her sister when their parents were away.  The risk of punishment was great since this was a time when coffee was a much valued and rationed food item. Other favorite stories include her brother who fashioned a belt out of rattlesnake skin which he wore until it smelled so bad he was forced by their parents to throw it away and another time the same brother drew big lips on one of their cows with lipstick. She loved singing a good cowboy song and knew every verse.  Prior to her becoming ill, she also enjoyed reading, sewing, walking her much loved corgis and spending time with family and friends.  

Nell is survived by her children, Race Cunningham, Jean-Marie Grissom and John Cunningham and wife, Shelly; grandchildren, Matthew Grissom, Carrie Grissom Crowder, Emily Cunningham Hand, and Ben Cunningham; great-granddaughter, Allison Crowder; loving sister, Elizabeth Collins; brother, Sidney Freeburg; and several extended members of the Freeburg and Cunningham families.  

Nell was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Paul Eugene Cunningham (m. March 5, 1955) and her older brother, Brandt Freeburg (d. December 27. 2008).   

The family would like to express their most heartfelt gratitude to those who brought her comfort, care and love in the later years of her life; her much beloved sister, Elizabeth Collins, nieces, Susan Collins and Melissa McGinnis and sister-in-law, Lavon McGinnis and the kind and loving staff of The Ivy.  

A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., May 24, 2019 at Ridgeview Memorial Park in Allen, Texas.

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Nell was a wonderful member of the James Billingsley Chapter, NSDAR, and we miss her greatly! Mary Andrlik, May 17, 2019 I knew Nell through her membership in the James Billingsley Chapter of the DAR. As mentioned in her obituary, she indeed did have a quick wit which was balanced with a lot of commonsense. I was sorry to see her decline after the death of her husband, Paul. Helen Schlueter, May 16, 2019