Wednesday, April 13, 2016
This is one of the most difficult things I have ever written. I never expected to hear the words, "I'm so sorry you son has passed away". What was even more difficult to digest were the words "it was a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound".
We all missed the signs. His contagious smile and determination to get through any obstacle in his life left us all with so many questions to which we may never get answers. We all struggle to awake each day and just breathe.
Yes there were problems in his marriage. Apparently it became more than he could bear. He left behind a huge number of grieving relatives, friends and children trying to grasp what caused him to decide he could not take another breath without pain.
Michael Aaron (Mike) Cunningham, 35 of Unity
Township passed away, Monday, April 4, 2016 at home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
He was born September 3, 1980 in Willoughby Ohio and
was the son of Michael E. Cunningham and wife Susan
Cunningham of Chesterland Ohio and Linda Ilanthe
(Woods-Cunningham) Marino and husband Philip of Youngwood Pennsylvania.
Michael was a graduate of Hempfield High School, Triangle Tech and the University
of Phoenix. He worked in the computer field from the time he was 16 until
accepting a position with Carbidie as an Engineer. It wasn’t long before Michael took
an interest in sales and his career soared. He had such an amazing thirst for knowledge
and gave every task his full attention. He accepted a position with Kennametal
in 2005 as a Customer Service Representative; then Application Engineer; Industrial
Wear Product Sales Engineer and eventually Global Account Manager of Specialty
Alloys. He accepted a position with Ceratizit in 2010 where he was a Territory Sales
Manager for the East Coast Sector. In 2012 he accepted the position of Product
Manager for Round Tool Materials. Michael received various awards throughout his
Michael enjoyed traveling to various foreign countries for his job. Always taking
on new adventures and exploring other cultures, he lived his life to the fullest in
From a young age Michael enjoyed fishing, boating, hunting, skateboarding,
roller blading, jet skiing, hiking and so much more. He was at peace with nature and
enjoyed countless hours spent doing the various things he enjoyed.
Michael was a member of the Cub Scouts; Boy Scouts and was on the local
soccer team as a child. He attended Catholic School until the fourth grade and spent
many hours with his friends in the city neighborhood.
Michael spent endless hours camping and fishing with his biological father,
grandfather and grandmother; stepfather and friends. Every day was an adventure
for him. His maternal grandmother enjoyed taking him on adventures hiking in the
mountains, playing in the creeks and so much more. He was always up for a new
adventure and welcomed all opportunities presented.
Michael and his mother enjoyed building computers together which led to his
love of gaming and networking. She instilled the roots of responsibility and wings of
independence within him.
Michael was known for his infectious smile and dry humor. He could light up the
room in an instant. He had a huge heart and aside from helping others in need, he
also helped homeless animals. Even if it was only “spay and release”, his heart was a
brilliant ray of light to all who knew him.
Michael was often seen on the ball-fields, basketball courts, soccer fields, hockey
rinks and karate studio spending time with his oldest son Noah. The two were inseparable
and spent many hours enjoying sports and taking various trips.
We all regret that he will not have the chance to do the same with his youngest
With such a large family that spans throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West
Virginia, it is hard to count just how many family members are left behind. He always
enjoyed visiting them as often as possible and taking part in family reunions and
many family functions.
Michael had many close friends but his best friend Brian was the brother he never
had. He spent many hours enjoying life to the fullest with Brian and his wife Heather.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his son Noah Michael Cunningham
from his first marriage; step-sister Michelle Marino; wife Rachel Cunningham and
sons Ethan Michael Cunningham, and Reese Thomas Cunningham; grandmothers,
Anna D. Gray of Greensburg Pennsylvania and Deloris Cunningham of Kirtland
Ohio; as well as countless aunts, uncles, cousins and close dear friends.
Michael was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather William Woods of
Chardon Ohio and paternal grandfather Robert Cunningham of Kirtland Ohio.
Michael, we will look up to the heavens to see you every night and we will feel you with us when we look into the eyes of your children. There is so much to say, and yet words cannot begin to fill the void nor can they explain how we feel. We have always loved you and will hold you in our hearts until we see you once again.