Julia Rae Cunningham


Julia Rae Cunningham, 23, went home to be with her Savior on Friday, July 31st, 2020 after a two year battle with cancer. She passed peacefully while her parents held her hands. Born in Loveland, CO on July 17, 1997, Julia moved to Brainerd with her family when she was three months old, living there until they moved to Orlando in 10th grade. Julia truly loved her family, friends and life. Her beloved cat, Stella, kept her constant company. She had a passion for reading, particularly historical fiction, for really good food and she set us all straight with her fashion sense. She was a gifted writer and communicator from a very early age. The sun, sand and beaches of her home in Florida were a favorite place for Julia, as were the family cabin and her Grandpa’s farm in Minnesota. Her sharp wit and disarming smile, playful conversation and deep insight into the feelings of others will bring cherished memories for those of us left behind. Julia excelled academically, earning her degree in Communications from Rollins College and had started graduate school at age 19. She had a tireless work ethic whether weeding a field on the farm, serving tables at Armandos or fighting valiantly through the effects of cancer. The genuine peace Julia felt in her last months, in the midst of difficulty upon difficulty, grew not from her beauty, intelligence or willpower but from her spirit and faith in her Lord Jesus. She forever touched the lives of her family and friends, even the doctors, nurses, staff and patients around her. Everyone who met her was warmed by her grace and kind smile. Words cannot express how deeply she will be missed. Survived by her parents, James and Marcey (Toman) Cunningham, siblings Evan, Rebekah and Jack, grandparents Alan and Marcy (Neeser) Cunningham (Brainerd), grandmother Diane Cunningham (Orlando) and preceded in death by her grandmother Karen (Shortridge) Toman, she was a deeply beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. Visitation will be from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Friday, August 7th at Nelson-Doran Funeral home, 202 8th Ave NE, Brainerd MN. A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 8th at 11:00am with visitation one hour prior at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church, 6284 Fairview Rd in Baxter, MN. The service will be followed by a time of sharing and a celebration of Julia’s life with fellowship, a light supper and a campfire at Al and Marcy Cunningham’s lakehome, 18446 Hartley Lake Road, Brainerd at 6:00pm. Julia loved flowers and they are welcome. However, she would also have appreciated your support of her heartfelt charitable causes, so please consider in lieu of flowers a donation in memoriam of Julia to the ministry of Voice of the Martyrs ( or the work of Moffitt Cancer Research Center ( or in support of your local animal shelter. Nelson – Doran Funeral Home 218.829.4755

Related Topics: OBITS