Cover photo for Walter Marvin Cunningham's Obituary
1952 Walter 2023

Walter Marvin Cunningham

December 23, 1952 — January 15, 2023

Walter Marvin Cunningham, 70 years old, died on January 15, 2023, in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. He was born on December 23, 1952, in Landstuhl, Germany, to Charles Leonard Cunningham and June Brown. He grew up in Alaska, and was living in Anchorage at the time of the 9.2 Alaska earthquake in March 1964, which destroyed his family’s restaurant. The family then moved to Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula. In 1970 he represented the State of Alaska at the American Legion’s Boys State and Boys Nation. At the age of 18 he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and later served in the France-Belgium mission.
He worked in construction of the Alaska Pipeline, fought forest fires for the BLM, and worked as a commercial fisherman. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he attended the Defense Language Institute learning Spanish and became a Voice Processing Specialist, or linguist. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Cartography. He worked for many years as a land surveyor, and became an Associate Professor at Salt Lake Community College, where he headed the Land Surveying and Mapping program. He was a member of the Utah Council of Land Surveyors, and received the Surveyor of the Year award in 2006 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
He married Shauna Buchanan in 1979; they later divorced. He married Ronda Read on April 9, 1988, in the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan, Utah. He served in many Church positions, including Primary music director, Primary and Sunday School teacher, scout leader, and stake executive secretary.
He is survived by his wife Ronda Cunningham; his children Celeste, Jeremiah (Adriana Susana), James (Heather Mathiesen), Charity, Nathan (Valerie), and Matthew; his brother Charles; his sisters Carol Cunningham and Janay Clanton; 16 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Ralph.
He loved chess, history, movies, ice cream, road trips, the outdoors, and especially his children and grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Walter M. Cunningham Education Foundation at or
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at the Greenfield chapel, 6634 S. Greenfield Way, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121. The service can be watched remotely by visiting his obituary page at A viewing will be held one hour prior to the service, and also on Friday, January 27, 2023, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Memorial Holladay-Cottonwood Mortuary, 4670 S. Highland Dr., Holladay, UT 84117. Interment will be at Memorial Lake Hills Cemetery, 10055 S. State Street, Sandy, UT 84070.
Service Information
Viewing January 27, 2023 at 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Memorial Holladay-Cottonwood Mortuary 4670 South Highland Drive, Holladay, Utah 84117

Viewing January 28, 2023 at 9:30 - 10:45 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Butler 10th Ward Meeting House 6634 South Greenfield Way, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121

Funeral Service
January 28, 2023 at 11:00 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Butler 10th Ward Meeting House 6634 South Greenfield Way, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walter Marvin Cunningham, please visit our flower store.


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