Paula M. Cunningham


Paula Marie Cunningham, 66, of Chippewa Falls, passed away to be with her Heavenly Father, at St. Joseph Hospital in Chippewa Falls, Sunday, April 5, 2021.

Paula was born July 21, 1954, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, to Tom Cunningham and June (Peterson) Cunningham.

God chose Paula to be one of his special children. She was born mentally handicapped; her mentality was that of a 1½ to 2-year-old. She enjoyed watching wrestling, she loved dogs and would play with the dog and pet him for long periods of time. She loved pulling her little brother in a wagon. She loved interacting with her brothers and sister. Her favorite was going on car rides.

Paula experienced pain and was taken to several local doctors and some doctors in Minnesota. When experiencing pain, the family members knew to watch her closely as the curtains would get torn down and things would get broken. Family members would control her until the pain passed.

Eventually, as the family grew, it was very difficult to take care of her. A family priest was sought out for advice and a decision was made to place Paula at the Northern Center. That was the most heart-breaking decision the family had to make. Family members would frequently go to the Northern Center to visit and spend holidays with Paula. She loved fruit gum drops and peanut butter cups.

Paula did have a job there. She would put plastic shower curtain rings from one bucket to another, she loved to do that, she played with shoe laces all the time. When visiting her she always looked forward to new shoelaces, peanut butter cups and she also liked clothes.

After leaving the Northern Center, Paula was placed in the REM AFH (REM Wisconsin Adult Family Home) She was taken care of very well there. In her later adult years. A special thank you to Tania and other staff who made Paula’s life special.

Paula is survived by her siblings: Kathy (Jim) Johnson, Jeff (Carol) Cunningham, Bob (Chris) Cunningham, John (JeNeil) Cunningham, Sandy (John) Kent and Rose (Dick) Rasmussen. She is further survived by other relatives and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 31, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., at Stokes, Prock & Mundt Funeral Chapel, 535 S. Hillcrest Parkway, Altoona, with Pastor Jeff Carlson officiating. Visitation will start at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Eau Claire.

Cremation Society of Wisconsin, Altoona, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

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