Obituaries

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Nancy was born in Zanesville, Ohio, to parents Walter and Catherine White. 

At a young age, she lived in Puerto Rico where her dad worked. As a teen she moved to Alameda. She attended Alameda High School, class of 1950. 

That same year she married her husband Ed who preceded her in death. She had three children: Ed, Jennifer and Bradley. She was a cherished grandmother to Josh, Farrah, Steven, Chrissy and great grandmother to Anastasia, Addaline, Aubrey, Cruz and Everlee.

She will be missed by all that knew her beautiful smile.

A funeral is set for this Saturday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m. at St.Philip Neri Church, 3100 Van Buren St.

After a 15-year fight with metastatic breast cancer Lillian Bea Wilson Cunningham quietly passed into God’s closer presence on Nov. 25, 2019. 

Lillian was lovingly cared for at home in her final days by her husband of 66 years, Rev. Don Cunningham of Alameda, and her five surviving children. She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Her first-born, Dr. Ron L. Cunningham of Grand Forks, N.D., predeceased her in 2004.

Lillian was born in Alameda, the second child of Rev. Dr. Roy E. and Winona Wilson. She lived in California cities: Oakdale, Porterville, San Francisco, Los Gatos and Berkeley, graduating from Berkeley High School. She met her future husband while attending the University of the Pacific for three years. 

After marrying in 1954, she raised six children, completed her bachelor’s and certification as a teacher at UC Berkeley in 1972. She received a master’s from California State University, Chico in 1982. Her specialization was multi-lingual, multi-cultural education. Lillian’s teaching spanned bi-lingual pre-school in Redwood City; Elementary education in Paradise; and 26 years in the Alameda Unified School District. She was recognized as a mentor teacher.  

Lillian was an accomplished musician on piano, organ, English hand bells and voice. She sang with the University of the Pacific A’capella Choir, the Oakland Symphony Chorus, the California Retired Teachers’ Chorus and several church choirs.

She held membership in the California Retired Teachers Association of the East Bay, serving for many years as the chairperson of the Scholarship Foundation; in Delta Gamma Kappa Society International, Zeta Phi Chapter; and in Twin Towers United Methodist Church.

Lillian, a dedicated apprentice of Jesus, believed that love was the most healing force in the world. She sought to live that love. 

A celebration of her life is set for Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. at Twin Towers United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lillian’s honor are encouraged to www.savethechildren.org; Giffords.org; or to The Lil Cunningham Contemporary Music Fund, Twin Towers UMC.

Steven Sylvester Sparrow was born in Oakland to Frazier Sparrow, Sr. and Mary Agnes English Sparrow. Steven was the youngest child and the apple of his mother’s eye.  He was affectionately called Stevie by family and friends.  He professed his faith in Christ, uniting with the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, in Alameda under the late Dr. Herbert Guice, Pastor and was baptized at an early age.

He attended Encinal High School and graduated in 1978. After graduating, Stevie began working at Encinal as a custodian. Stevie had a take charge attitude, the other custodians thought Stevie was their supervisor.  He had a special chair at the head of the table, keys and radio; always giving them orders on what their assignment was for the day.

He was the “Unofficial Head Coach” for several sports teams.  In his role as Unofficial Head Coach he would have a meeting with the football coaches, giving them encouragement and input before each game.  They considered Stevie the #1 Jet!  He truly loved Encinal and gifted Encinal shirts to each family member that graduated, so they too could represent his school.  Stevie was a member of the Encinal High Boosters that met for breakfast the 1st Tuesday of every month.  The club was for former athletes and donors; however, Stevie was right there playing a major part.

Stevie was known throughout Alameda and was affectionately called “The Mayor of Alameda”.  Stevie met no strangers and had photographic memory when it came to the telephone numbers of family and friends.  He had many titles, because he was so important to many people.  His family title was “Town Cryer”; Stevie made sure he stayed in contact with each family member and was the first to provide them with family updates.

Stevie loved camping, fishing, wrestling, eating and just hanging out in Alameda.  He really had a special love for sports and would call family and friends to let them know the game is on; even if the person didn’t like the sport.

He was preceded in death by his father (Frazier Sparrow, Sr.) and brother (Frazier Sparrow, Jr.).

On January 10, 2020, Stevie departed this life surrounded by love ones.  He will always be remembered for his unconditional love for his family, friends and Encinal High School.  Stevie leaves to cherish his precious memory his loving mother, Mary Agnes Sparrow; sister, Pamela A. Sparrow Lewis; nieces, Glennisha S. White, Glennielle S. White, Vernicia T. Anderson; nephew, Kenneth G. Aubrey; and a host of other family and friends.

A public viewing has been set for Monday, Jan. 20,  from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral service will follow on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at noon. Both services will be held at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, CA 94611. Call (510) 654-0123 for more information.

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