Edgewood, KY - On Sunday, October 30th, 2022, Earl Howard Cunningham passed on peacefully holding hands with his loved ones.
Born on July 10th, 1943, Earl was the youngest son of the late Royal and Mary (Herman) Cunningham, and brother to the late Jim (Judy) Cunningham of Warsaw. He was a graduating member of Union School class of 1961. As a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Earl was proud to serve his country operating on C-130s during the Vietnam conflict. He engaged in over 100 combat missions aboard the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, an aircraft he could tell you everything about.
After 30 years as a truck driver, he retired from Kroger but his driving did not stop there. In 2001, Earl let go of everything he owned that would not fit into an RV, including the beautiful log cabin he and his daughter Angela built and called home for many years. Singing along to the songs of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson he set off (likely with a bowl of ice cream in his lap) on a new adventure.
For 20+ years Earl traversed the country building homes with Habitat for Humanity and teaching college students how to swing a hammer. Not a day went by where his hands weren’t used for helping someone. He met many friends he held dear to his heart along the way. The completed homes and various humanitarian projects he devoted his time to are far too numerous to mention but are all unquestionably intact if Earl was on the job site.
Earl is remembered as someone who was incredibly proud of his work, his country, and most of all the meaningful connections he made with people. His friends and family will miss everything about him from his kind mentorship to his ability to leave just about any social gathering with a new phone number. If he came over for a visit, he would tell you, “the only thing wrong with your house is that it doesn’t have wheels”. Earl would also always make sure you knew of how special his girls, Angela and Kylie, were to him.
As a volunteer US Forest Service steward in Flagstaff, Arizona he helped construct the iconic US Forest Service trail signs in the Coconino National Forest. He was particularly fond of the many summers he spent there among the ponderosa pines. There, along with the many other places he adored from Texas to Florida, North Carolina to Tennessee, Ohio and beyond, his legacy will continue. Earl now travels through our hearts and stories, where his journey can never end.
Earl is profoundly missed by his daughter Angela (Aaron Simms) Randolph of Independence KY, granddaughter Kylie (Steve) Martin of Cincinnati, grandson Julian Simms of Independence, KY, great-grandson Rivers Martin of Cincinnati, sister Mary Edith (John) Powell, and many wonderful nieces, nephews, and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, November 11 at the Roscoe United Methodist Church, 475 High St. Coshocton, OH 43812. Rev. Bob Mitchell will officiate. Interment will follow in Coshocton County Memory Gardens with military rites performed by the Coshocton County Veterans Council Honor Guard.
The Fischer Funeral Home in Warsaw is handling arrangements.