Craig G. Cunningham Obituary – Erie Times-News


Craig G. Cunningham, 74, a Northeast resident since 1973, died Wednesday, August 24, 2022, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Garfield Heights, OH, and raised in Chesterland, OH, the son of the late George Marshall and Marie Bestgen Cunningham.

After graduating from Thiel College, Greenville, PA, in 1969, Craig began working in Ithaca, NY. He soon enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, training at Parris Island, SC, Camp Lejeune, NC, and 29 Palms, CA, serving for six years until his honorable discharge at rank from sergeant in 1975. He moved to Erie in 1972 and graduated from Gannon University with an MBA in 1974, becoming the graduate assistant of well-known professor and author, Dr. David Frew.

Craig entered the building industry with Mineo & Gold Builders in 1974, and in 1978 started his own Cunningham Custom Builders. The next 18 years produced successful new residential and light commercial construction, renovation and land development in some of Erie’s larger communities. Craig has received numerous professional awards, including Builders Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania Man of the Year, Renovator of the Year, and various Achievement Awards. He served as Chairman of the Board and National Director of the National Association of Home Builders. Later, Craig worked at The Home Depot in the Contractors Sales Office, where he enjoyed sharing his expertise with many customers and associates.

Very active in his life of faith and in the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, Craig has served as associate minister, chairman of various committees and officer of the church council. He was honored to be the recipient of the Messiah Lifetime Appreciation Award. He served on the board of the Erie Municipal Mission and served as its president. He loved the outdoors, the ocean, beautiful sunsets and family card games, and he enjoyed gardening and golfing. but he was more enthusiastic about basketball. Having played in high school and college, he shared that talent coaching boys on various Northeast School District teams, including Grade 9 and JV, and a highlight with Head Coach Jim Young at the Keystone State Games where the team won the state championship. He lived and encouraged positive thinking and speaking, goal setting and work ethic, respect for others and strength of character wherever he was. Great joy came from watching his sons and now his grandchildren play. Nothing, however, was more important than his faith, spending time with family and friends, and caring for others. He was an incredible husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend!

Craig is survived by the love of his life, Ethelynne Jacobs Cunningham, who celebrated their 52nd birthday with him on August 1; three sons, Cuyler (Christine) of Madison, WI, Cort of Berlin, Germany, Connor (Sabrina) of Harborcreek, PA; Mendee Burch Cunningham of North East, PA, Isabelo Satori of Brattleboro, VT; brother-in-law, Brian Jacobs (George) of Minneapolis, MN; sister-in-law, Allyson Kenny (Michael) of Lubbock, TX; sister-in-law, Claudia Cunningham of Dayton, OH; grandchildren, Colin, Cayleigh, Cainan, Cade, Ava, Gavan Cunningham, Warren and Whitney Williams; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Gary Cunningham; nephew, Mark; and close in-laws, Guy and Mary Elizabeth Jacobs.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, September 7 at Messiah Lutheran Church at 2 p.m., led by the Reverend Jeffrey Piccirilli. Due to limited space, a live streaming option on is suggested. Visits with family will follow in the Fellowship Room on the ground floor. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Messiah Lutheran Church, 2025 Eastern Ave., Erie, PA 16510; Veterans Airlift Command, 5775 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 700, St. Louis Park, MN 55416 (website available), or Community Nursing Services of North East, 7 Park St., North East, PA 16428. Arrangements are supported by the Dusckas Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. Send your condolences to

Posted on September 03, 2022

Posted in Erie Times-News

service information


Post-Service Visitation Messiah Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall 2025 Eastern Avenue Erie, PA 16510

Memorial service

Messiah Lutheran Church 2025 Eastern Avenue Erie, PA 16510

September 07, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.


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