HONORING THE LIFE OF EDITH CUNNANE; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 6
(Extensions of Remarks - January 10, 2020)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E25]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. ANN WAGNER

                              of missouri

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, January 10, 2020

  Mrs. WAGNER. Madam Speaker, I rise deeply saddened by the loss of a 
wonderful friend and mentor and integral member of the St. Louis 
community. Today, in Missouri's Second Congressional District, Mrs. 
Edith Cunnane is being laid to rest following an incredible and 
selfless life of service.
  Along with her beloved husband, Jim Cunnane, Edith made St. Louis her 
home and worked to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. She was a 
fixture of the St. Louis philanthropic community for decades as a 
community volunteer and activist, civic leader, and supporter of social 
services. She had an endless desire, willingness, and ability to help 
others. With this boundless passion, Edith founded the St. Patrick 
Center in 1982. The first of its kind in the region, the St. Patrick 
Center is a multifaceted social service agency that serves the homeless 
and at-risk individuals.
  Over her nearly forty-year tenure at the Center, Edith sought to 
expand its services to unprecedented heights. Under her leadership, the 
St. Patrick Center opened the Shamrock Club, the first day treatment 
program for individuals suffering from behavioral health issues in the 
entire nation. Additionally, Edith spearheaded the St. Patrick Center's 
Casserole Program, an initiative where groups of volunteers bake, 
freeze, and deliver casseroles to the needy. Since its inception 
thirty-five years ago, this program has served over five and a half 
million hot meals across the Greater St. Louis area.
  Edith's efforts have been an inspiration to countless individuals. 
During her tenure, Edith mobilized over three thousand volunteers to 
help their fellow citizens, turning the St. Patrick Center into a 
beacon for homeless assistance and social services providers. Last year 
alone, the Center provided nearly sixty thousand services to over three 
thousand people and served close to one hundred and fifty thousand hot 
  Edith's drive to help others involved many forms of public service. A 
former staff member for Congressman Jim Talent, Edith went on to become 
a member of the St. Louis County Council in 1998. She used this 
experience to work with institutions and organizations throughout the 
region to continue improving the lives of others. She served on the 
board of directors for the St. Louis County Library as well as the 
Today and Tomorrow Education Foundation, which strives to provide 
educational opportunities for children in need.
  For her years of generosity and hard work, Edith has been recognized 
locally, nationally, and globally. At the local level, she received 
numerous awards, most notably the St. Louis Women of Achievement Award 
and the St. Louis Community Leader Award. Nationally, President George 
H.W. Bush bestowed upon Edith the Thousand Points of Light Award in 
1991. At the international level, she was awarded the United Nations 
Human Rights Award. I believe it is not only appropriate, but 
necessary, to honor Edith's incredible life before the U.S. House of 
  Edith is survived by her husband, Jim, their two children, Jim Jr. 
and Cori, and six beautiful grandchildren, along with many family 
members and friends. I extend my sincerest condolences and prayers to 
the Cunnane family as they mourn this immeasurable loss and celebrate 
Edith's life and all the love she gave to those around her. Edith and 
her faith, work, and unwavering generosity will never be forgotten. We 
thank God for blessing us with her life.