Scott Cunningham


Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Homer resident Scott Cunningham died Tuesday, June 10, 2003, following an accident. He was 43.

A memorial service will be held at St. Johns Catholic Church in Homer at 3 p.m. Saturday, followed by a life celebration gathering at the Cunningham residence.

Mr. Cunningham was born in Teaneck, N.J., on Feb. 14, 1960. His early years were marked by a strong interest in theater, photography and a passion for motorcycles that carried throughout his life. He traveled all around the country but eventually settled in Vermont, where he graduated from Brattleboro Union High School and later attended Marlboro College.

After careers that included the culinary arts and motorcycle mechanics, Mr. Cunningham became interested in emergency medicine. It was during his time volunteering for Rescue Inc. in Brattleboro, Vt., that he met his future wife, Samantha, who also was a volunteer medic. Together, they attended the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and became paramedics. The couple worked as paramedics in Richmond, Va., during which time they helped countless people, including Frank Sinatra after he collapsed on stage during a concert.

The Cunninghams moved to Alaska in 1994 and instantly fell in love with the scenery and community of Homer. In 1998, Mr. Cunningham partnered with Claire McCann and Cliff and Diana Jeska to open Smokey Bay Air. Scott served more than eight years as a paramedic for the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and was chair of the board and fire chief of the Kachemak Emergency Service Area, where he helped secure more than a $1 million in grants for equipment as well as a fire station in McNeil Canyon.

"Family and friends remember Scott not only for his generous nature but also his quick wit and tall-tale-telling talent. Though he had many endearing qualities, the one that shone brightest was his love for his children and his wife. Those who met him usually found themselves laughing at his constant stream of jokes and wise cracks, for Scott was someone who enjoyed life and liked to help others do the same, willing or not," his family said.

"A gregarious personality, he made friends everywhere he went. Scott's exuberant energy, quick quips and love of life will be greatly missed, and we will all try to emulate that energy in his honor."

Mr. Cunningham was preceded in death by his father, Robert Bruce Cunningham.

He is survived by his wife, Samantha Cunningham; children, Thane and Rowyn, ages 6 and 4; mother, Alma Cunningham of Virginia; brothers, Andrew Cunningham of Massachusetts and Storm Cunningham of Washington, D.C.; mother- and father-in-law, Suzy and Charley Restino of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; sisters-in-law, Maria McKnight of Washington, D.C., and Carey James of Homer; brother-in-law, Matthew James of Homer; and nephews, Trevor and Christopher Cunningham of Massachusetts.

Memorial donations for Thane and Rowyn may be made to the Scott Cunningham fund at the Wells Fargo Bank. For more information, call Carey James at (907) 235-6637.

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