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John Tolbert Cunningham, 69
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McMinnville resident and Warren County native John Tolbert Cunningham, 69, was born Jan. 22, 1953 and died March 13 at his residence following an extended illness.           

A retired tool and die maker at Quality Tool and Engineering and member of Westwood Church of Christ, he was the son of the late Neil Lewis and Dorothy Emogene Narramore Cunningham. He was married on Nov. 5, 2005 to Patsy Cunningham of McMinnville. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by mother-in-law Wilma Powers.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Cunningham is survived by children, Shondee (Tracy) Foster of the Dibrell community, grandson Parker Hildreth (Hannah) of McMinnville, brother Neil (Terry) Cunningham of Punta Gorda, Fla., and niece and nephew Laura Washburn of Gram, WA and Eric (Monica) Cunningham of Murfreesboro. On Nov. 5, 2005, Patsy’s family became his family. Also surviving are children, Chantel (Josh) Bilyeu of McMinnville, and Jeff (Sarah) Stepp of Normandy, TN; grandchildren Ashlie Roland, Jordan (Crystal) Roland and Lexie (Austin) Melton, all of McMinnville, Savannah Saylors of Chattanooga, Lucas Stepp, Cameron Stepp and Dylan Stepp, all of McMinnville, Jax Stepp of Normandy, Heather Bilyeu of McMinnville, and Jake and Jordan Smith of Normandy, great-grandchildren Houston George, Johnathan Rhea Goglio Roland, Jaxon Judge, Madison (Brad) McKinley, Gracelen Martin, Tilmon Martin, Jordin Mitchell and Brandan Wysong and sisters-in-law Frankie (Monty) Welch of Murfreesboro, and Jan (Maurice) Azevedo of Oklahoma.

He loved when his family called him Grumpy and loved his church family at Westwood Church of Christ, Jeff Gordon and Charlie Brown. He also enjoyed playing guitar with his friends in the band “Monkey Wrench.” He spent lots of time playing in Nanny’s trunk with superheroes or watching movies in there with Houston and would never miss an opportunity to point out a rainbow or a sunset.

Graveside service and interment will be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at Center Hill Cemetery at Hills Creek in Warren County with Richard O’Connor and Carol Anne Richardson officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. at High’s. Online condolences may be made at

High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Southern Standard

(McMinnville, Tenn.) March 16, 2022