In Memory of




Obituary for Rose Marie Cunningham

Captain Rose Marie Cunningham (nee Tucker), BSN, MSN
Rosie passed away in the early morning hours of January 12, 2023, at home, surrounded by family and friends.
Rosie was born February 10, 1952, in Munich, Germany to parents Dr. Walter Tucker and Mrs. Gloria Todd. After high school, she pursued a life-long career in healthcare beginning in Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, NC, graduated from East Carolina University with her BSN and received her Master’s in Nursing from Troy State University.
Rosie loved the beach, adventure, and always being on the move. She didn’t have time to sit still when there were people to help, new places to see, or even camels to ride. While Rosie could be serious, she was also a fun-loving goofball and will be remembered by her many catchphrases that made her family and friends laugh. She was a long-time member of the Krewe of Wrecks on Pensacola Beach, loved celebrating Mardi Gras season, and was always up for a trip to New Orleans.
Above all, however, she was an exceptionally gifted caregiver to her friends and her patients. Following her military service in the United States Air Force, Rosie began her 32+ year career at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital as a Labor and Delivery nurse, then Assistant Patient Care Manager. She served as head of the Bereavement Committee for 13 years caring for those families facing the hardship of fetal loss. The Bereavement Committee organized and held an annual Celebration of Life ceremony and mass for these infants and children and their families. In 2016, Rosie was awarded the “Values in Action” award from her Sacred Heart family for her work leading the Bereavement Committee and her compassionate care for these families. Rosie retired from Ascension Sacred Heart in 2016, but she didn’t retire from caring for babies in need; she volunteered as a rocker in the NICU for those little ones who needed soothing.
As was fitting, Rosie met the love of her life, Turk Cunningham, in a hospital at Eglin Air Force Base. They were both serving in the United States Air Force. They were married October 21, 1983. For 30 years, Rosie and Turk served their country and their communities. They traveled all over the world, but called Gulf Breeze, Florida, their home. Their devotion to one another was palpable, they communicated without words or with a lot of words and took great care of one another. Rosie always said she married Turk because he could cook (she could not), but we knew she married him because she had found a like-minded soul with whom she fell in love.
Rosie was predeceased by her husband, Colonel Charles (Turk) Cunningham in 2013, her parents, Dr. Walter Tucker and Mrs. Gloria Todd, and one sister, Karen Brown. She is survived by her step-mother, Sheila Tucker, brother, Bobby Tucker, sisters Mary Muratore (Dr. Terry), and Dr. Linda Campion; brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Margaret Cunningham; nieces and nephews, Ashley (Steven) Pack, Allison and Craig Tucker, Caleb (Lauren) and Wesley (Sarah) Brown, Drs Emily (Jonathon) and Michael (Marie) Campion, Tappie Villane (Paul), Scott (Carrie) and Andy Cunningham, and Ripley Merkle; great nieces and nephews, Madison and Gavin Zivoder, Zoey, Ari, David, Abigale, Ty Brown, Kaycee Villane, and Izzy Cunningham; and her Godson, Jeremy (Kayla) Merkle.
A Funeral Mass will be held February 10, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Gulf Breeze; Father John Cayer will officiate. Visitation begins 30 minutes prior. Burial will be at Barrancas National Cemetery/NAS Pensacola at 1:30 p.m. (escort to Barrancas for committal service at noon). A celebration of Rosie’s life will be held at her home by the family following her burial; this will begin at 2:30 p.m.
Rosie loved and supported the following organizations, so please, in lieu of flowers, make a memorial contribution to one of the following: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, United Service Organizations (USO), Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida, or the Salvation Army.
Arrangements are entrusted to Trahan Family Funeral Home of Pensacola. You may offer condolences, share memories and sign the guestbook at