John Tolbert Cunningham, 69 – Southern Standard


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

A retired tool and die maker with Quality Tool and Engineering and a member of the Westwood Church of Christ, he was the son of the late Neil Lewis and the late Dorothy Emogene Narramore Cunningham. He was married on November 5, 2005 to Patsy Cunningham of McMinnville. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his stepmother 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, Florida, and niece and nephew Laura Washburn of Gram, WA and Eric (Monica) Cunningham of Murfreesboro. On November 5, 2005, Patsy’s family became her family. Also survived 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 from the band “Monkey Wrench”. He spent a lot of time playing Nanny’s Trunk with superheroes or watching movies with Houston and never missed an opportunity to show off a rainbow or a sunset.

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

High Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

south standard

(McMinnville, TN) March 16, 2022


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