Elizabeth Ann Cunning

(April 19, 1952 - March 15, 2024)


Elizabeth Ann Cunning, 71, Powell, passed away peacefully on March 15, 2024. She was under the gentle care of Spirit Mountain Hospice and with her daughter by her side following her short, but aggressive battle with cancer. 

Beth was born on April 19, 1952 in Bozeman, Montana, to James and Leona (Kent) Lees. She was the oldest of four siblings and graduated from Bozeman High School in 1970. Following school, she lived in California, Belgrade, Montana, and eventually settled in Powell, Wyoming, after her first marriage.

Upon settling in Powell, Beth began her 30-plus year career with the Powell Tribune and always called it home. From her first union, she was blessed with her daughter Jessica in 1988. A few short years following, Beth divorced and then found the love of her life, the late Johnnie Francis Cunning. 

Beth and John were married June 5, 1993. They enjoyed traveling, hunting, camping and fishing together. Family memories were made across the country until the same pancreatic cancer robbed Beth of her devoted husband. She bravely cared for John during his two-and-a-half-year battle and vowed he would be her one and only love for the rest of this life.

Beth spent her retirement years working part-time at the Powell Aquatic Center and enjoyed greeting the “regulars” during early hours. Her greatest joy and purpose was spending time with her grandchildren and you could find her at every event.

Beth will be remembered for her vibrant personality (and hair), as well as her bleeding heart. She loved all animals and considered one of her greatest accomplishments raising Labrador retrievers for families in the Basin for over 15 years. She was kind and a friend to all and first to offer help of anyone in need, even before herself at times. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. 

Survivors include her daughter, Jessica Shuler (Tucker) and three grandchildren: Cameron, Carson and Cora Shuler of Powell; stepdaughter Brandy Absher and grandchildren Nathan, Colton, Trevon and Boelen of Billings, Montana; sister, Michelle Beringer and her partner Dan Talkington of Frannie, Montana; sister, Marci (Jerry) Kraft of Bozeman, Montana. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband John Cunning; and brother James Lees. 

Beth will join John in eternal rest at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska. There will be a family graveside service in May and a celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to a local animal shelter of choice.