Eva Parsons Cunningham passed away quietly Friday, June 17, 2011, at home with her family near her side.
She was born April 12, 1922, in Sterling to Ralph and Velma Parsons. The second of three children, Eva lived there for the first two years of her life until her father moved them to Butte, Mont.,, to work in the copper mines. Six years later, with the Depression in full swing and the mines closing, the family moved back to Sterling.
Eva attended Thomas High School and graduated in 1940 with many lifelong friends and wonderful memories. She attended Rose’s Beauty School in downtown Blackfoot and loved it. After graduating, she taught at the school while working there.
Soon, a handsome man who would sweep Eva off her feet entered the picture. She met Willis William Cunningham (Bill) at the LDS ward they both attended in Blackfoot. It didn’t take long before they started dating and fell in love. But World War II took Bill away to basic training in St. Louis, Mo., and then Sarasota, Fla., where Eva joined him to be married in 1942. The marriage was solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple in 1943.
William Ralph (Bill Jr.) soon joined the happy couple in 1943. During the war, Bill was stationed in the Pacific and Eva and Bill Jr. moved to California to be with her parents while he was gone. When the war ended, they came back to Blackfoot where Bill owned a service station. Four other children soon joined them, Carolyn, John, Lanny and then Joy.
Eva owned and operated Southgate Beauty Salon (in her home) for many years where she loved doing hair. When Bill and Eva opened a new sport shop, she was needed there to help. She was in charge of buying all the ski clothes, stocking them and helping to sell them. With her eye for beauty and style, people came from miles around to purchase ski clothes from Bill’s Sport Shop.
Eva enjoyed many hobbies. She was an excellent cook and many ward functions and family gatherings were made better because of her wonderful rolls, pies, cakes, and just about anything else that required cooking or baking. She was an expert seamstress, making many clothes for herself and her family. When the kids got older, she took up a new hobby, that of ceramics. She loved the creative side of making beautiful things and her talent really shone through. Later she discovered a passion for porcelain dolls and learned how to properly make them. She loved making her dolls and even made one for each of her grandchildren as they turned 12.
She and Bill loved to travel and enjoyed many trips with various tour groups. They’ve been to all but three states in the continental United States.
Eva was a giving, service-oriented woman. She was always helping others in need, whether it was family, a neighbor, friend or someone from her church. Eva was there to offer her service.
She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in a variety of callings. She served in the ward Young Women’s, Scouts and Primary. She also served in many stake callings—Relief Society, Sunday School and MIA. She had a strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Eva is survived by her husband of 68 years, Willis William Cunningham (Bill); their children, William R. Cunningham (Susan) of Mesa, Ariz.; John R. Cunningham (Rhea) of Idaho Falls; Lanny C. Cunningham (Dedra) of Blackfoot; and Joy Bradshaw (Steve) of Rupert. She left behind a legacy of love with 14 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren with one on the way, and 7 step-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Carolyn Cunningham; her parents Ralph and Velma Parsons; a brother, Melvin Parsons and one great-grandson, Nathan Cunningham.
We would like to thank Hearts for Hospice for their love and concern for our mother and wife. Their care was outstanding. Thank you Sharee, Crystal, Dianna, Micah, Kathrynn and Todd. You were always there when we needed you. We would also like to thank Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for their kind care of Mom.
The funeral for Eva Cunningham will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot. There will be a viewing Friday night from 7-9 p.m. and one hour before the service on Saturday at the funeral home.
Condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Interment will be in the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.