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STANLEY CUNNINGHAM


1938 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
STANLEY CUNNINGHAM Obituary
February 7, 1938 - November 29, 2017 OKLAHOMA CITY Stanley Lloyd Cunningham died on Nov. 29, 2017, at the age of 79. Stan was the only child of Stanley Ryan and Hazel Dell Dillingham Cunningham, of Tishomingo, OK. His father practiced law in Tishomingo, where his mother was a secretary to the school board and later, was a deputy court clerk. Stan graduated from Tishomingo High School in 1956, and then attended East Central University in Ada, OK on a football scholarship. After his freshman year, he transferred to The University of Oklahoma. He was a member of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, where he played first trumpet. He was also a member of his father's fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. While he was a student, he played the trumpet professionally in several musical organizations. During summer breaks in college, he worked on highway crews for the Oklahoma Highway Department and on geophysical crews for Western Geophysical, Amerada Petroleum, and Cities Service Oil Company. He graduated from OU in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. Stan then enrolled in the College of Law at The University of Oklahoma, from which he graduated with a degree in law in 1963. He practiced law for nearly 40 years. First, he practiced law in the legal department of Phillips Petroleum Company, which was then the largest corporation in Oklahoma. In 1971, he joined McAfee & Taft law firm, which is now the largest law firm in Oklahoma. While he was with Phillips, he assisted the Phillips Company's entrance into international oil exploration, working as an international lawyer in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, South America and the Caribbean. He also assisted in the development of the production sharing contract between host governments and international oil companies. This form became the standard form that is still used in the industry today. He was a shareholder of McAfee & Taft. During his law practice, he specialized in oil and gas law while keeping current with the changing sciences of geology and geophysics. After a long and successful practice of law, Stan became interested in the technology of geophysics, which was rapidly changing with increasing computer capacity and innovation. He became of counsel to McAfee & Taft and returned to The University of Oklahoma in 2002. He graduated with the degree of Master of Science in Geophysics in 2004. He thereafter engaged in the oil business as a geophysicist and lawyer, with partners who were experts in drilling, operations, leasing and geology. He also taught petroleum geology at OU as an adjunct professor. He was active in the Alumni Advisory Council of the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, where he was also chairman for a term. He also participated in alumni activities of the College of Law and with his law school class. Stan served his country for nine years in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. While he was on active duty for training, he was the student commander of a squadron of approximately 2,500 men and received an award as the outstanding student. Among other assignments, he commanded an Aerial Port Flight. His last assignment was that of a JAG officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Stan married Suzanne Yerger on Sept. 18, 1960, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Shreveport, LA. They met as undergraduate students at OU, where they fell in love. Their love lasted a lifetime, and the two celebrated their fifty-seventh wedding anniversary this year. To them were born two sons, Stanley William and Ryan Yerger Cunningham, as well as four granddaughters, Hannah, Laura, Camryn, and Penelope. He is survived by his wife, sons, granddaughters, and daughter-in-law, Vanessa Alejandra Cunningham, all of Oklahoma City. Stan was interested in sports, especially the fortunes of the football team at OU, and in music, especially jazz. He owned an extensive collection of jazz. He was a member of the 75 Dance Club of Oklahoma City. He and Suzanne also loved to dance in Santa Fe, NM. Their favorites were the tango and western dancing at La Fonda Hotel with the Bill Hearn Trio. Stan graduated from OU with honors, including the Order of the Coif (law), the Board of Editors, Oklahoma Law Review, Phi Kappa Phi (multidisciplinary), and Sigma Gamma Epsilon (geoscience). As an undergraduate student, he was a Harry J. Brown scholar. As a law student, he received the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation award in oil and gas law and the American Jurisprudence award in the law of evidence. He was also a member of the American and Oklahoma Bar Associations, and a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States. During his legal career, he appeared before each of these courts at various times as lead counsel. In 1979, he presented oral argument to the Supreme Court of the United States. He was listed in Best Lawyers in America, Who's Who in American Law, and Who's Who in the World. He was a member of the American Society of International Law, the Federal Energy Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, and the Oklahoma City Mineral Lawyers Society. He was also a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (where he was special editor of the journal, Geophysics), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (where he was a Certified Earth Scientist), as well as the industry and scientific organizations. He was also a member of the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club and the Petroleum Club of Oklahoma City. He was a member of All Souls' Episcopal Church, where services will be held on Monday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The University of Oklahoma Foundation, P.O. Box 258856, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-8856. Please designate the Conoco Phillips School of Geology and Geophysics or the College of Law at The University of Oklahoma. Gifts may also be made to the .
Published in The Oklahoman on Dec. 3, 2017
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