Bargholz, Johanna Ellen Cunningham

Johanna Ellen Cunningham was born March 29, 1925 at the Oyen Hospital in southern Alberta. She was the second child of Edna (Smith) and Jim Cunningham and grew up on the family farm with her older brother Jim.
The story goes that her father sold a fine workhorse to pay the hospital bill when she was born. So fine that ‘Old Dick’s’ picture was in the family photo album.
Jo attended three different schools in the Excel area, some as far as five miles away from the farm. Jim and Jo attended high school in Oyen where her parents rented a house for $5.00 a month at the time.
With a grade twelve education and a written test she was admitted to Calgary Normal School in 1943 at the age of 18.
Jo paid $25. a month for room and board. After six weeks of training she was assigned to teach at the Rough Meadow School, three miles south of Brownfield and so began a long, storied teaching career that influenced and enriched the lives of many.

The first weekend that she was at Rough Meadow School Jo ventured out with Mabel Jordahl to help feed the threshing crew and met her future husband Elton.
Elton always said that he let Jo chase him until he caught her.  They were married July 10, 1947 on the Cunningham farm.
Her mother bought Jo a wedding dress for $25.00 in Calgary and sent it to her.
Between 1949 and 1959 Jo and Elton were blessed with four boys Harvey, Lyle, John and Wayne.
In 1963 she began taking summer university courses in Edmonton and received her Bachelor of Education degree in 1975.
Elton and the boys travelled every other weekend to Edmonton and attended plays, went to the zoos and experienced the city to the fullest.  
Jo continued her teaching career at Bonny Doone School, Coronation School and then completed her teaching career at Brownfield School with her retirement in 1984.
Ten years of this time of which she was the principal of the school.
In 1980 Jo and Elton built a new house in Coronation and she travelled to Brownfield every morning, often dropping Elton off at the farm for the day.
After her retirement Jo operated a travel agency specializing in trips for seniors.  Places such as Branson, the Calgary Stampede, Nashville, The Maritimes, Alaska and the C.F.R. were never the same after Jo’s busses pulled in.
Jo took such care of her clients; buying them snacks for the lengthy bus rides. On one bus trip Jo shared bags of fortune cookies. Little did she know that the fortunes were x-rated. A good giggle was had by all.
Francis Forrest and Jo discovered that a lay over in Texas on one of the trips could be most interesting.
After they opened their room door they were astonished to find a pair of black panties on the floor and another pair between the sheets. Neither pair fit! Ask Francis!
Jo was a multi talented lady. She loved visiting, quilting, playing cards, painting, shopping and having lively discussions with her grandchildren.
The grand kids parents would often tell their teenagers to phone Grandma Jo for advice when the parents had had enough and low and behold they would listen to her.
Jo lost her husband Elton in 1996 after 49 years of marriage.
Jo is survived by four sons, Harvey and Dawn of Brownfield along with their children, Amber (Sterling Cuthbert), Rilla (Lonnie Granley), Charity, Shilo and Desirée, Lyle and Jacquie of Sundre and their children Ryan, Kevin and Leah; John and Judy of Sundre and boys Jordan, Matt (Abby) and Ethan; and Wayne and Judy of Sedgewick as well as their children Graham (Kaila) and Griffin.
Jo was also blessed with seven great grandchildren, Milan, Berit, and Lowell Cuthbert; Kelton, Ellis, and Calder Granley and Knox Bargholz.
She will also be remembered by brothers-in-law Doug (Doreen) Bargholz, Bud (Jean) Bargholz, sisters-in-law Doris (Wilfred) Sieger, Doris Bargholz, and Jean Cunningham.  
Jo was predeceased by her husband, Elton; her parents, Jim and Edna Cunningham; brother, Jim Cunningham; brothers-in-law Wallace and Ken Bargholz, Chet Carter, Hilyard Begg and Marvin Elliott; sisters-in-law, Laura Carter, Iona Begg, Merle Elliott and Lillian Bargholz.
The funeral service to honour Jo Bargholz was held on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 2 p.m. at the Brownfield Rec Centre, Brownfield, AB, with Reverend Sue Hertell officiating.
Linda Osetsky played for the congregational hymns, “Morning Has Broken” and “The Lord’s My Shepherd”.
Special music was trio Yvonne Barnes, Faye Webber and Ashlyn Faber.
Garry Thomson and Jo’s grandchildren shared some of their fond memories.
A video tribute was played prior to the service.
Honourary pallbearers were “All of Jo’s family, friends and community; as well as the staff at the Coronation Hospital and Care Centre”.
The interment was at 11 a.m. at the Coronation Cemetery and active pallbearers were Jo’s grandsons Ryan Bargholz, Kevin Bargholz, Jordan Bargholz, Graham Bargholz, Griffin Bargholz, Matthew Bargholz and Ethan Bargholz.
Lunch and fellowship was held at the Rec Centre which was prepared and served by the Brownfield U.C.W.
Memorial donations may be made in Jo’s honour to the Brownfield School Foundation, Box 54, Brownfield, AB, T0C 0R0 or to Coronation Hospital Foundation, Mail Bag 500, Coronation, AB, T0C 1C0.
You may send your condolences by email to
Heather Caseley of Coronation Funeral Home entrusted with the funeral arrangements.  403-578-2928. “Knowledge, Experience And Professionalism With A Personal Touch”

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