Betty Jean Cunningham | Robinson Daily News
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Betty Jean Cunningham

Posted on January 6, 2022

Obituaries

Albuquerque, Sep. 12, 1928 - N.M. — Dec. 20, 2021Mrs. Betty Jean Cunningham, age 93, passed away peacefully in her Albuquerque, NM home on Dec 20th, 2021. Born September 12, 1928 in Sumner, IL, to George Leslie Roberts and Vernice Piper.

She graduated from Deaconess School of Nursing in Evansville, IN.

Betty led a very involved life in Crawford County, serving as board member/chairman of the Crawford Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, as well as an active member of the Oblong Township School District for many years. She founded and operated the Oblong Teen Center, booking bands from all over the Midwest, including a "pre-fame" band called REO Speedwagon. She loved her role as Cub/Girl Scout leader, teaching children how to complete goals and experience the great outdoors. Being an integral member of the P.E.O sisterhood was vitally important to her, both in Oblong and subsequently Albuquerque. As mayor of Oblong, she was instrumental in the beautification of Oblong's community park and lake. Completion of the Oblong Lake Project was one of the many gifts she gave back to the community she cherished, allowing a serene and inviting gathering place for generations to come.

As an avid golfer, Betty held the title of Quail Creek Country Club Champion for over a decade.

She lived the second chapter of her life in Albuquerque, NM, where she fell in love with the cultural diversity of the Southwest. She also loved her authentic adobe home, just blocks from historic Old Town and spent much of her free time in later years visiting galleries, meeting artists, attending Native American events and collecting vintage southwestern art and jewelry. She enjoyed her life with her little Yorkie "Chewy", her loyal birds, her many hats, and her trusty pickup truck. Her hobbies throughout her full life included golf, golf, and more golf...as well as traveling, rescuing dogs, camping, and bird watching.

She is survived by her four children: Rebecca Cunningham of Oblong, IL, George Grant and daughter-in-law Heidi Bekebrede of Davis, CA, Lee Anna Cunningham and son-in-law James Rogers of Albuquerque, NM, and Lisa Cunningham and son-in-law Brett Fouss of Phoenix, AZ. Her four grandchildren: Celeste Jenkins of Lawrenceville, IL, Lillian Grant of Milan, Italy, Alex Fouss of Denver, CO, and Nick Fouss of Cave Creek, AZ. Her three great grandchildren: Bryant Jenkins, Addison Jenkins, and Theodore Fouss. Treasured nieces, nephews, dear friends, and her devoted caregiver Ms. Gina Baca.

She is preceded in death by her parents: George Leslie Roberts and Vernice Piper. Her siblings: Doris Wilson, Jack Roberts, Charles Roberts, and Irvin Roberts. Her late husbands: Dr. John Grant and Norman W. Cunningham.

Betty requested that "we all have a party", rather than a funeral. For all who knew Betty, this comes as no surprise. She saw every sunrise as a gift, living her life with gusto. So, raise a glass in her honor, look for her spirit in the bird outside your window, share a funny Betty story from the past, or relive a touching memory housed within your heart.

One of Betty's sweetest phrases, uttered just a week before her passing and depicting her spunk so well was, "We sure had fun, didn't we?"

Any preferred donations may be made in her honor to the Crawford County Humane Society (911 E. Wilkin St. Robinson, IL 62454 /ph. 618-544-8698/cchs62454@yahoo.com).

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