Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Grace B. Cunningham, 101

Grace “Toni” Cunningham, a former Westporter and well-known figure in the Compo Beach area for decades, died June 29. She was 101.

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Toni Cunningham: well-known Compo Beach figure. Contributed photo

She was born April 6, 1916 in New York, and lived in Scarsdale, New York until coming to Westport in 1930.

After graduating from Scarsdale High School, she attended Connecticut College for Women where she studied art.

After her marriage to Francis J. Cunningham, they made their home in Westport where they raised three daughters.

She loved Compo Beach and her home on Soundview Drive was always a hub of activity. She was an active member of the Compo Beach Improvement Association, serving as both secretary and treasurer for many years.

Toni was always active as a room mother in her daughter’s classrooms and made costumes for all the students in their dance classes. Her love of music inspired her to promote many jazz concerts in the Fairfield County area.

She is survived by her daughter Blithe Dotson and her husband Fred of Woodbury, with whom she made her home, and her daughters Sheila (Bob) Perry of New York and Gail (Terry) Coen of Florida. She is also survived by five grandsons, three granddaughters and nine great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Francis J. Cunningham, her brother Francis P. Bosco Jr., and her aunt Elizabeth Heussler who was like an older sister to her.

Services will be private at the request of her family.

Contributions in her memory can be made to the Compo Beach Improvement Association Traffic Calming and Beautification Fund, 40 Compo Beach Road, Westport, CT 06880.

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