Honorable Peyton Cunningham

Feb. 21, 1934 - Feb. 23, 2023


William Peyton Cunningham Jr. was born in Natchitoches, LA on Feb. 21, 1934 to William Peyton Sr. and Mildred Hill Cunningham, and he died on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023 following a brief illness.

Peyton grew up in Natchitoches, LA, along with his three siblings, Lallah Cunningham Methvin, twin brother Rev. John H. Cunningham, and Joseph Payne Cunningham.

Peyton attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and then attended Louisiana State University where he received his Bachelor of Science 1956.

After returning from service in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan, he earned his Juris Doctor degree at Louisiana State University School of Law in 1959.

During his legal career, he was a partner at Cunningham & Cunningham, Attorneys at Law (12 years), served as judge of the 10th Judicial District Court, Natchitoches (24 years), and Judge Pro Tempore and Ad Hoc in district courts in north and central Louisiana.

He also served as President of the Natchitoches Parish Bar Association, a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates, and a member of the executive board of the Louisiana District Judges Association. He was appointed to serve on the State Risk Review Panel, and also appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court as a Commissioner to the Louisiana State Bar Association Committee on Bar Admissions.

Peyton was a life-long resident of Natchitoches and was involved in many civic organizations including the Natchitoches Rotary Club, Louisiana Outdoor Drama Association, Christmas Festival Committees, The Agitators Club, Sibley Lake Waterway Commission and member of Mystic Krewe of St. Denis. He was a supporter of the NSU Symphony, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and he enjoyed being a member of the Walter P. Ledet Coffee Club.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Mildred R. Hill and William Peyton Cunningham Sr, sister, Lallah Cunningham Methvin; and wives, Mary ”Cissy” Breazeale Cunningham, and Markay Stroud Cunningham.

Those left to cherish his memory include William Peyton Cunningham III, Alicia Cunningham and husband Doug Rainwater, Drury B. Cunningham and wife Tracy Rome Cunningham, Catherine Cunningham Faucheaux and husband Ben Faucheaux, Lee Sherrill and wife Kim Sherrill, Markay Sherrill Stroud and husband, David Stroud; grandchildren, Alexandra Cunningham, Michael Cunningham, Camille Cunningham, William Dru Cunningham, Anna Grace Cunningham, Joseph Faucheaux and wife Catherine Burke Faucheaux, Peyton Lise Faucheaux, William Lee Sherrill and wife Kristen Sherrill, Aaron Blake Stroud and wife Danielle, Theodore J. Stroud and wife Jessica; great-grandchildren, Molly Marie Stroud, Madeleine Nichole Stroud, Jackson Dean Stroud and Henry Blake Stroud.

Friends and family were invited to attend visitation at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 5.p.m. with a Rosary beginning at 6:30.p.m.

On Monday, Feb. 27, at 10.a.m., a Funeral Mass was held at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

A private burial followed.