Cover photo for Joe W Cunningham's Obituary
Joe W Cunningham Profile Photo

Joe W Cunningham

June 10, 1925 — January 22, 2023

Sherwood

Joe W Cunningham

Joe W. Cunningham was born in Marthaville, Louisiana, on June 10, 1925, and passed away at his home in Sherwood, Arkansas, on January 22, 2023, at the age of 97.

Joe moved during his childhood years from Marthaville to Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. His teen years were spent in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in 1942. 

Joe began his college studies at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute during 1942-43.  However, his studies were interrupted to serve in the United States Navy during World War II from March, 1943, until June, 1946.  He later completed duty with the United States Navy Reserve in 1965, and he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. He returned to complete his undergraduate studies at Northwestern State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949.  He continued his education at Colorado State College and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1951.

Joe's career life included several fields:  education, sales, marketing and management.  He retired from Arkansas Telephone Company in Clinton, Arkansas, in May, 1990.

Joe enjoyed living for many years in Arkansas where he was a member of Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church in Sherwood.  His interests included singing in church choirs, woodworking, building kites and radio-controlled model airplanes, and raising rabbits and parakeets.  He maintained a life-long interest in bird watching by establishing purple martin birdhouses and feeder locations at his home.

Joe is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Mann Cunningham, his parents, Joel Washington Cunningham and L. Myrtle Hunt Cunningham, his brother, Jack Hunt Cunningham, his daughter, Brenda Cunningham Malone, and his stepson, Ricky Hogue.

Joe is survived by his daughter, Joelyn Cunningham West, her husband, Gregg, and granddaughters, Amber West Ivanov (Ilya) and Karlin West Kosem (Adam); son-in-law, Bernard Malone III, and granddaughters, Sophia Malone Kuschel (Ted) and Chloe Malone Hotkowski (Kurtis); daughter, Nancy Jane Cunningham, and step-grandchildren, Krystal R. Richard (Kevin) and Mat Richard; stepdaughter, Becky Wacaster and her son, Mike Wacaster; stepdaughter, Nancy Hernandez and her husband, Raul; stepdaughter, Judy Van Abel, and her husband, Mike; six step-grandchildren and eleven step-great-grandchildren.

The family would like to extend sincere appreciation for the care and compassion shown by long-time friend, Bob Bivens, Dr. Shannon McLaughlin, the staff of John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital, and Fort Roots VA Central Arkansas Healthcare.  The family requests that any memorial contributions be made to the Memorial Fund at Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church, 9008 HWY 107, Sherwood, AR  72120.

Visitation will be from 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Monday, January 30, 2023 at Smith Sherwood Funeral Home (7700 Hwy 107) with a funeral service following at 10:30 AM. Burial will be at 12:00 PM at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.

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

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, January 30, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Sherwood

7700 Hwy 107, Sherwood, AR 72120

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, January 30, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Sherwood

7700 Hwy 107, Sherwood, AR 72120

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Monday, January 30, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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