Louise Cunningham Byron, 76, of Marion, passed away Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at CarePartners Hospice Solace Center in Asheville, after a period of declining health.

Louise was born in Marion Jan. 20, 1943, to the late James M. Cunningham and Mae Goforth Cunningham. She was a member of Clinchfield Baptist Church and was the curator of the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort for many years. Her gracious and refined nature served her well at the museum but it was her strong and independent character that earned her the notable achievement of being the first female graduate of the Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta when she was a young lady. Her family was the most important thing in her life and she devoted much of her time to nurturing her relationships with them. She was a wonderful friend to many and will be missed deeply.

Surviving are her sister, Maxine Wiseman of Marion; several nieces and nephews; and special great-nieces and nephew, Lynn Wiseman, Scott Cable and Brooke Gordon, who Louise considered to be the children she never had.

The family will have a private memorial service at a later date.

Westmoreland Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at

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