Official Obituary of

Joan Fogg Cunningham

February 2, 1941 ~ March 9, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Joan Cunningham Obituary

Joan LaVern (Fogg) Cunningham, seasoned traveler and matriarch of the Cunningham family, passed away on March 9th, 2024, her big heart and whip-smart spirit carrying her every beat of the way. 

Joan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 2nd, 1941 to William Henry Fogg and Evelyn (McComb) Fogg. She adored her overprotective brother, Bill, and her favorite birthday present, her younger brother, Rick. She has lived an exciting and ever-adapting life, traveling from place to place as her love of family and adventure led her. Her adventure began when she met the love of her life at the Villa Movie Theatre in Salt Lake City where Dean Earl Cunningham worked as a part-time usher during high school. Joan said she fell for the “man in a fancy uniform”. 

They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 5th, 1958, when she was 17 years old and he 18. Their journey began when they bought their first home together in Murray, Utah. She and Dean also lived in the Sandy area where they raised their five children, Keri, Todd, Kimm, Ricci, and Ryan. She and her three youngest children moved for her husband’s job to the New England community of Guilford, Connecticut. The winds of Dean’s career changed and brought Joan and her family to the white sands of Pensacola, Florida for 5 years. After that it was back to the beloved Rockies of Littleton, Colorado. Then, she followed Dean’s career to the little town of Independence, Kansas. Joan and Dean settled to retire in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where Joan lost the love of her life to a battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. She then lived with her daughter and son-in-law,  Kimm and Doran Smith, and their family in McLoud, Oklahoma. She spent a few more of her later years back in Salt Lake as roommates with her eldest daughter, Keri, where she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She spent the last three years of her life in Newalla, Oklahoma with her youngest daughter and son-in-law, Ricci and Alan Cross, and their family. 

Joan attended the Salt Lake School of Medical Careers where she earned her degree as a medical assistant in 1979. She worked as a medical office manager throughout a long career in various practices, including psychiatry, an osteo specialist, and family practitioners. Above all, her favorite practice to work was the OBGYN, [Dr. Jones] where she got to know and love many new and expectant mothers. She retired from her gratifying career in 2012. 

Ever the fighter, Joan has survived many illnesses over the years and thrived as the witty, loving, and devoted matriarch of her family, despite multiple myeloma, an aneurysm, a deadly infection, two broken hips, a broken femur, crippling arthritis, and a family that drove her mad with affection.

Joan was a quiet soul with a wicked-sharp intellect and a fire-cracker attitude. She enjoyed watching Jeopardy! with her family and checking if they knew the answers. Her passion for sports led her to bleed blue and orange for her favorite team, the Denver Broncos, as well as cheering from the sidelines for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in their own sports and passions. She loved keeping a house full of games, spaghetti, laughter, Hershey’s Kisses, and the second love of her life, Diet Coke. Because of her overbearing shyness and anxiety, few got to see the true force of Joan’s spirit. But those who did, fell in love immediately with her quiet dignity and internal devotion to her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Joan has lived a long life of love, devotion, and perseverance, that of which rivals the heralding angels who will guide her to her eternal companion, darling brothers, and beloved children waiting on the other side.


To Joan, we wish to send her off with a phrase she penned often and sincerely to her closest circle:


“Love ya the most!”


Joan was preceded in death by her father, William H. Fogg, her mother, Evelyn L. (McComb) Fogg, her husband, Dean E. Cunningham, her eldest daughter Keri, and her great-grandson, Ethan. She was preceded in death by her elder brother, William R. Fogg, and younger brother, Richard J. Fogg, who have some explaining to do, when they died together on September 20th, 1971 in a devastating plane crash. She was also preceded in death by her youngest son, Ryan, who died bravely in the line of duty as a police officer in 2001.

Joan is survived by her son Todd (Candy) Cunningham, daughter Kimm (Doran) Smith, and daughter Ricci (Alan) Cross. Joan is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews, all totaling an Ohana that spans generations and oceans. 


A memorial is set for Joan on Friday, March 22nd, at 10 a.m. at the Evergreen Memorial Park in Evergreen, CO.

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