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Joyce L. Waldow

March 18, 1940 - February 18, 2020

Joyce’s Celebration of Life

March 21st, 1:00pm – 6:30pm at 1531 SE 87th Ave, Portland, Oregon

Joyce Luann (Cunningham) Waldow of Portland, Oregon


February 18th, 2020 in the late evening hours surrounded by her daughters and the love of her family, Heaven welcomed a glorious angel that was on loan to us for almost 80 years.

Joyce was born March 18, 1940 in her parent’s home in Belle Vernon, PA. She was the second child and the first daughter of James and Pearl Cunningham. As she grew up, her love for sports and outdoor activities grew as well.  She spent most of her time outside with her brother, James, cousins, and friends.

At 16, Joyce welcomed a little sister to the mix, Cindy.  Although there was a huge age difference there was a bond created like no other known.  When she graduated from Rostraven High School in 1958, she had dreamed of being a FBI agent yet her mom was concerned about that choice of careers and told her no.  Right after graduation Joyce moved to the west coast to start a new adventure and worked at Disneyland as well as an office receptionist at Pinkerton Detective Agency.  It was here that she was able to be a part of the stake outs for insurance fraud and detective work she longed for.  The miles between them did not interrupt their bond as Joyce would travel back home to surprise her family as well as have them come out to California to enjoy the sunshine, beaches and Disneyland.  This bond continued through marriage, children, divorce and old age… Once she met and married Lee Waldow in 1970, she became a homemaker and full time mom to Leslie (1971), Alan (1973) and Raelynn (1975) as well as a mom to Lee’s daughter Kalan (1965) from a previous relationship.

In 1982, the entire Waldow family relocated to Madras, Oregon to live on Lee’s family farm and Joyce took on a new role as learning to be a farmers’ wife; moving pipes and herding cows…

She continued to be an active mom, shuttling the kids to and from sports, drama, and music events.  In 1989, she started working at Mt. View Hospital in the kitchen where she met her besties: Roberta, Eileen, and Darlene… these four ladies were inseparable. Yard Sales, coffee, and trips to Bend were the common outings you would hear about.

In 1993 Joyce attended college courses at Central Oregon Community College, the same school her daughter was attending, to brush up on her computer skills and became an Office Clerk for Hoffy’s Motel.

Slowly the kids grew up and moved out…   Leslie went on to travel the world and attend college, before settling in Portland, Oregon. Alan stayed close, married Samantha Gomez and has two sons: Gabriel and Dalton, and lives in Madras, Oregon. Raelynn followed in her both siblings footsteps: stayed close for a bit, then moved away for college. She has two children: daughter, Kennedy and son Xavier and lives in Portland, Oregon with her fiancé Willie.

When Joyce retired in 2000, it didn’t take long for her to realize that she had a lot of time on her hands.  She travelled back east to see her brother, her sister and their families. She travelled to California to hang out with her cousin and his family.  She travelled to Portland and Monmouth to see her girls.  In 2002, Joyce moved to Portland permanently to live with Leslie and learn what life in the big city was all about.  She met new people, started using Trimet and exploring Portland.  She rode Greyhound to Monmouth to help out Raelynn with Kennedy during finals week at college throughout the years.  She even rode Greyhound back to Madras to see her friends and family.

When people think about Joyce and the life she lived you would hear common statements: She loved unconditionally! She believed in her faith and God!

She loved yard sales, McDonalds Coffee, and Goodwill! Her kids were her world and her grandkids meant more to her than anything else!

She could make a friend anywhere!

Once she knew you, you were FAMILY!

Joyce was welcomed into Heaven by her parents: James and Pearl Cunningham, aunt: Bertha Merritt, aunt: Jane Cunningham, sister in law: Linda Phillips, parent in laws: Walter and Leona Waldow, brother in law: Leonard Waldow, niece: Brenda Waldow and fantastic friends: Pat and Emmett Wheatfall, Roberta Thurman, Eileen Rhode, and Darlene Polland.

Joyce left behind numerous family and friends: Ex-Husband: Lee Waldow, Sister in Law: Vicki Waldow Brother: James Cunningham and Joyce, Sister: Cindy Phillips and Jeff.  Daughter Kalan (Waldow) Camphouse and Don, Daughter Leslie Waldow, Son Alan Waldow and Samanath, Daughter Raelynn Waldow and Willie.

Nephews and Nieces: James Cunningham Jr and Lynn, Jackie Eck and Gregg, Greg Phillips and Kim, Dawn McCoy and Jason, Shalyn Hardy and Bill, Eric Waldow.

Grandchildren: Fallon, Hilary, Gabriel, Kennedy, Dalton, and Xavier.

Great-Grandchildren: Andre, Jayda, Evelyn and Sawyer.

Great Nephews and Nieces: Nicole, Aaron, Victoria, Gregory, Kaleb, Kaden, Trevor, Aidan, Conner, and Jensen.

Friends who became family:

Marilynn Williams

Laurel Batiste

Sara Dean  (Ryder and Reston)

Jeane and Wayne Dean

Valerie May

Aunt Gwen

Steve and Colleen

Irene Aker and family

Dr Alice Capitano and family

and many others…..

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