William Peyton Cunningham Jr. was born in Natchitoches, LA on February 21, 1934 to William
Peyton Sr. and Mildred Hill Cunningham, and he died on Thursday, February 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.
On Monday, February 27, 2023, at 10:00.a.m., a Funeral Mass will be held at the Minor Basilica of the
Immaculate Conception. A private burial will follow.