Cover photo for Kathy Denise Harrison Cunningham's Obituary
Kathy Denise Harrison Cunningham Profile Photo
1958 Kathy Denise 2024

Kathy Denise Harrison Cunningham

May 12, 1958 — March 17, 2024

Sparkman, Arkansas

On May 12, 1958, God delivered one of His most unique and precious creations into the arms of Emmitt Harrison and Laura Louise Hughes Harrison. They named their beloved bundle Kathy Denise. She was born in Manning, Arkansas, but the family settled in Sparkman where they raised their family. Kathy’s parents ensured she was involved in her local church, Macedonia Baptist Church, which was the baseline for the acceptance, affection, and love she developed for Christ. She accepted Christ under the leadership of Rev. W. M. Edwards. She busied herself at Macedonia serving as an usher, choir member, and a member of Young Women For Christ. She showcased her lovely singing voice leading the songs, “Holy Ghost Power,” “I Still have Joy” and “I’ll Go If I Have to Go by Myself”. She enjoyed reading her bible, doing crossword puzzles, watching her game shows, and watching her favorite soap operas, the Young and the Restless and the Bold and the Beautiful. 


Her enthusiasm and passion for education was demonstrated as she graduated from Sparkman High School in 1976, where she played sports and ran track. She earned a degree in education at SAU Tech in East Camden. Kathy was employed at Sparkman Learning Center for 10 years and the Arkadelphia Human Development Center for 4 years. She taught school in Sparkman and Harmony Grove for 11 years and worked with the ABC Program in Sparkman for 6 years.


Kathy was always jovial and outgoing. While she enjoyed Sparkman, life presented its greatest challenge - a villainy fight with Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. She received a bilateral transplant on November 20, 2013. She moved to Houston to be closer to doctors and specialists who cared for her with divine power. Subsequently, her life was prolonged longer than expected. Later Kathy moved to Texarkana, Arkansas to be closer to family and friends.


She gracefully surrendered her life to Christ on Sunday, March 17, 2024, with her family at her side. Of all of the incredible roles she held in her lifetime, Kathy made it evident that the most revered and esteemed positions she ever fulfilled were as a mother to her two children, and “GiGi” to her granddaughter. 


In addition to her two adoring children, Vanessa Cunningham of Texarkana, AR, and Jason Barnwell of Ft. Wayne, IN. Kathy is survived by her granddaughter, Kinslee; sisters, Anne Gaines of Inglewood, CA and Unitta Harrison of Sparkman; brothers, Samuel Harrison and Rodney Harrison, both of Sparkman, AR; sisters-in-law, Bertha Harrison of Menomonee Falls, WI and Linda Harrison of Memphis, TN; bonus brothers, Timothy Wright and Brian Green; aunts, Lisa Russell of Milwaukee, WI, Maelene Harrison of Arkadelphia, AR and Shirley Mae Hughes of Sparkman, AR; her dear friends, Rev. Linda Butler, Bobbie Jean Walker, Pat Utley, Sharon Anderson, Deborah Smith, and Corrine Johnson, along with a wealth of nieces, nephews, and other beloved family and acquaintances. She is preceded in death by her parents, Emmitt Harrison, and Laura Louise Hughes Harrison; her siblings, Elmer Harrison, Salvanious Harrison, Ollie Harrison, Travis Harrison, Vanessa Harrison, and James Harrison.


Kathy embodied the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman, and left a legacy of love. She was one of the most faithful, consistent, one-of-a-kind, selfless souls to ever walk the face of this earth and while she is without a doubt rejoicing in her Heavenly home, her former earthly home is a bit dim, now absent of the rays of sunshine Kathy radiated everywhere she went. 


1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.


A celebration of her life will be shared at noon on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Macedonia Baptist Church, with Rev. J. L. Newburn, officiating and Rev. Linda Butler, eulogist. The interment will be at Harmony Community Cemetery.


Visitation will be from noon until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024, with the family hour from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Warner Buckley, James Harrison, Tracey Harrison, Stanley Harrison, David Giles, Chris Harrison, Darron Johnson, Mario Perry, Martel Perry and Lavar Hughes will serve as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Ray Bulter, Sherman Butler Leon Barnwell, David Hall, Kendall Quarles, and Chris King. Nyisha Miller, Teasha Barber, Beatrice Harrison, Melissa Anderson, Danielle Cainey, Anchelitta Harrison, Malaysia Buckley, and LaBrittany Hughes will serve as floral escorts. 


There is no joy on earth quite so precious to us than having wonderful, warm, and caring friends like you. Just knowing you were there with kind deeds of love was a great consolation to us. We sincerely appreciate all the comforting words, prayers, visits, telephone calls, and text messages. Special thanks to the Houston Methodist Hospital Transplant Team, DaVita Dialysis-Twin City, Dr. Stevens, Dr. Sam Nix, Elite Care, and Tonya Gavin, RN her nurse for 12 years. It is our prayer that God will pour upon you, choice blessings of goodness and mercy from on high. 


Submitted by the Harrison-Cunningham Families.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathy Denise Harrison Cunningham, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, March 22, 2024

12:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Family Hour

Friday, March 22, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church

Kelly Avenue, Sparkman, AR 71763

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