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South Cobb community leader Wanda Cunningham loses her fight with cancer


Family and friends are mourning the loss of Cobb community leader and businesswoman, Wanda Jewell Cunningham, who lost her fight to cancer last week. Wanda was 68.

Wanda was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer several years ago but did not let that stop her from serving her Cobb community. As she battled her disease, Wanda continued to help and inspire others around her. She was a true community servant, not just in Cobb, but the metro Atlanta community.

What Wanda accomplished in the community was a true testament that one person can make a difference in the community and that you don’t have to be financially wealthy to make a difference in the lives of others. One of the last things Wanda did while healthy was making sure that 55 underprivileged children had what was on their Christmas lists last year.

Wanda was a selfless and remarkable leader. Her activities included working in political campaigns from Andy Young to Barack Obama; working with nonprofits such as the American Cancer Society; and serving with community organizations and on their boards, such as the Cobb County Housing Authority.

As a businesswoman, Wanda worked with many across the metro Atlanta area. One of her last business efforts was the push to develop Magnolia Crossing, over 50 acres of land in South Cobb that has gone undeveloped and ignored by elected leaders. A proposal Wanda championed, which had community support, was rejected. Magnolia Crossing continues to be an undeveloped hole in the ground in South Cobb and a sad reminder of what could have been if we had more vision like hers in our community. 

Many community leaders in South Cobb who worked with Wanda offered their condolences to the family and shared their personal thoughts on Wanda. 

“Wanda will always be remembered as a warrior with a ‘strong’ will to go the distance in our continuing struggle for justice for all. Call her name, Wanda Cunnghahm, and she will never die.”

Dr. Ben Williams,
President, South Cobb Southern Christian Leadership Conference

“Wanda and I first met at a Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting. She was a visionary and committed to the development of a quality housing/business community in South Cobb. Wanda knew no strangers and I will miss her welcoming smile.”

Attorney Terry Cummings, Retired – US Federal Government

“Condolences to the Family and Friends of this delightful young lady – R.I.P. Ms. Wanda Cunningham. You strived to make a difference in the world we live in. You fought the good fight and will be missed! I remember when Wanda was introduced by a mutual friend to the late Michael Dorsey. We were impressed with her resume of construction and building, but we also saw that she was a visionary and an influencer. I regret that her major efforts to develop a mixed-use project for the local Magnolia Crossing project, which would have included pulling together and creating opportunities for partnerships with the community and builders, never materialized.”

Rev. Coakley Pendergrass
President, The Georgia Community Coalition

“Wanda Cunningham was a hard-working dedicated community leader. I send condolences and prayers to her family. Life is short and it reminds us to give it all we got.” 

Monica Delancy
Director, We Thrive on Riverside Drive

“Anyone who knew Wanda, knew that her love for community would last longer than the last beat of her heart. She never asked if something could get done. She only talked about how we would get it done. There is a deep void in our community with her loss. And if it is ever filled, it will be because of one of Wanda’s ideas materializing or someone she inspired getting involved.”

Michael Murphy
Entrepreneur and former Special Assistant to
Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce 

Funeral arrangements are being handled by HOPE Funeral Home,165 Carnegie Place, Fayetteville. Funeral details for Wanda are forthcoming.

Wanda is survived by her daughter, Shemica Cunningham. 


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