Carol Jean Cunningham, 68, passed away on Thursday, March 24, 2017. She was born to the late Jean and Mildred Louthan on March 9, 1949, in Great Bend, Kan.
Carol spent the majority of her school years in Billings and attended senior high school but ultimately graduated in Pryor, Okla.
She earned a teaching certificate and an endorsement in Special Education from Eastern Montana College and she taught Special Education primarily at Absarokee (Mont.) Elementary School.
She married Tom Putnam in 1971, and they had three sons together. She later married Fred Cunningham in 1979 and moved to Absarokee, where the two of them raised their five boys together.
Carol enjoyed playing the piano at church and other community events and she also had an endearing affinity for horses since childhood.
She could often be found in the summers riding her horse in the hills and fields surrounding Absarokee, and maintained ownership of a horse until her death. She loved a good laugh, family, friends, animals, and she had a special place in her heart for children of all kinds. She also never met a cup of coffee nor a piece of chocolate she did not like.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Fred Cunningham (husband), and Bob Louthan (brother). Survivors include her sons Justin Putnam (Kansas City, Kan.), Nathan Putnam (Bozeman, Mont.), and Ryan Putnam (Maple Valley, Wash.); step sons Kelly Cunningham (Olympia, Wash.) and Kyle Cunningham (Steilacoom, Wash.); sisters Jan Hawkins (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Pam Wilken (Sachse, Texas) and 10 grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she most recently resided. Funeral services will be held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Absarokee on April 22 followed by a short graveside service at Rosebud Cemetery.