John Lawrence Cundiff

John L. Cundiff, age 85, died peacefully at his home in Prior Lake, MN, on February 15, 2019. He was formerly of Minnetonka, MN.   

A time of gathering will be held on Friday, March 15, from 4-7 pm, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation, 4565 Pleasant Street SE, Prior Lake and one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, March 16 at 11 am, at St. Michael Catholic Church 16400 Duluth Street SE, Prior Lake. Father Tom Walker will preside. Memorials are preferred and will be distributed in John’s memory, by the family.  

John was born November 30, 1933 in New Orleans, La. to John and Alexina Cundiff.  He and his sister Jeannette spent many hours playing in and around Lake Pontchartrain.  They both enjoyed their mother’s cooking especially the jambalaya, gumbo, and crawfish bisque. He and his parents moved to Irvington, Alabama, where John graduated from Alba High School, Bayou La Batre in 1952. He went on to attend Auburn University earning a degree in Engineering Physics. He paid for college by shrimping, working on party boats and oil rigs. His early career included working at RCA, Georgia Tech and tracking missiles in the early space program. He commented that they were lucky to predict the ocean they would splash down in. 

In 1964 while working for Control Data in Minneapolis he met Joan Risius, a Bloomington teacher.  They were married in 1965 spending their honeymoon in Puerto Rico where John was installing a computer at the Arecibo radio telescope.  There were moves from Fla. to Ca. to Texas.  Then the family, Teresa (3), Dan (6 weeks), and one Irish setter embarked on the adventures of living in Belgium, Israel and France. 

Once back in the U.S. and living in Minnetonka, John worked for Control Data, Rorke Data, and Techware continuing to travel extensively while forming many lifelong friendships. He was able to resume his interests in fishing, boating, searching for golf balls, morel mushrooms and doing crossword puzzles. John was always willing to help anyone who asked. 

Over the past several years dementia and diabetes took away John’s ability to enjoy his family and friends as he would have liked, but he kept his warm smile and infectious laugh. Many thanks to his devoted caretakers, Amanda and Troy Koster, Schultz family, Renee Linn and James Gaitney Parker who provided comfort and all the sweets he wanted. Thanks also to St. Francis Hospital and Allina Hospice for their part in John’s care. 

John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joan; children, Tom (Michele) Cundiff, Teresa Cundiff, Daniel (Gretchen) Cundiff: grandchildren, Stacia (Kyle) Petersen, Jennifer Cundiff, Alexis and Zakery Hallin, Ehren, Christian and Annaliese Cundiff; greatgrandchildren, Magnus and Lena Petersen; sister, Jeanette Juan; many nieces, nephews and friends. 

There to welcome John home in heaven are his parents, John and Alexina Cundiff.  

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Condolence Messages

  1. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

  2. Jonnetta Gelwicks

    Uncle Johnny was such a funny, friendly and generous uncle to me. I remember his laugh so well and it makes me smile. I will always think of him fondly. He was such a blessing to me and I look forward to seeing him again – fully healed, in heaven. Until we meet again my wonderful uncle.

  3. So sorry for your loss. John was a great guy. Peace and strength to the Cundiff family.

  4. I was saddened to hear that John passed away. John was a mentor to me and showed me respect, generosity and kindness. I cherish the time I got to spend with him and I will never forget the meals we shared.
    I was blessed to know John and His family and I send you all my love and prayers as you go thru this difficult time.

  5. Joan, My son and I have met you at Amanda and Troy’s house. I am sorry to hear about the passing of John. Amanda always would tell me the latest funny thing he had said, and that was proof that he wanted to always make people laugh and smile. The daily verse of today is appropriate: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19 NIV. I pray that you find peace and comfort, and even joy, knowing that John is with his Savior in Heaven and that his body is free of all his earthly pain.

  6. Joan and family, I am truly sorry to hear that John has passed. My condolences.

    Hearing of his passing brought back many great memories of our pasts; Birthday shrimp boils, the infamous trip to the Munich October fest; 4 adults and 5 kids in the VW bus. I still have the Haufbrau Haus mugs. Cow fights in Switzerland, and the Beaujolais Nouveau keg night at the Beau Rivage on the lake.

    Thank you for all that you and John have done for my family over the years.

    Walt Chase

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