Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana

Obituaries



Lawrence
Lawrence "Larry" Cunningham

Veteran
 

Lawrence "Larry" Cunningham

Oct 04, 1933 - Sep 15, 2013

Lawrence “Larry” Ralph Cunningham, 79, of Great Falls, passed away suddenly at his home, Sunday, September 15, 2013.
A visitation will be held Friday, September 20, 2013 from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. at Schnider Funeral Home with a rosary recited at 7:00 p.m.; the family will greet visitors from noon to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A funeral liturgy will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Larry was born October 4, 1933 in West Newton, PA. He attended Penn State University before entering the Air Force via the Aviation Cadet Program, Class 57E. He completed Basic and Primary Flight Training in 1956. He married his wife, Aurelia, in 1956 and then embarked upon a career in the Air Force. He completed his bachelor’s degree in General Science through the University of Omaha in 1965. During his career, Larry was assigned at numerous locations to include Laughlin AFB, TX; Williams AFB, AZ; Misawa AFB, Japan; Minot AFB, ND; Biggs AFB, TX; Clark AFB, Philippines; Da Nang AB and Phan Rang AB in Viet Nam; Griffis AFB, NY; Grand Turk Island; and Malmstrom AFB, MT. During this time he accumulated over 4800 flying hours and was a combat veteran in Viet Nam with 150 combat missions.   Larry was qualified in various aircraft to include the F-86, F-84G, F-100, B-57, L-20, T-33, T-34, and T-28. During his Air Force career, he was recognized as an outstanding fighter and tactical reconnaissance pilot individually and as a flight and squadron lead pilot; he successfully landed his B-57 aircraft when the nose gear failed to extend, receiving a Safety Recognition award; he was assigned to command a Joint International Force at Grand Turk Tracking Station, Grand Turk, Islands; and served as Senior Air Weapons Director, Malmstrom, AFB, MT. He retired honorably from the Air Force at Malmstrom AFB, MT in December 1976 with his final flying duty in his favorite aircraft, the B-57 Canberra. He culminated a distinguished 20 year career with multiple Air Force Awards to include two Distinguished Flying Crosses, nine Air Medals, and two Air Force Commendation Medals.  
Larry was an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman, recycler, and advocate of protecting the environment. He was an admirer of jazz and 60s rock and roll. He was heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America while his sons were growing up. He was an active member of the Order of Daedalians, Big Sky Flight #99, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1087 Royal A Caufield Post. Larry volunteered at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, District 4.  He was a member of the Corpus Christi Catholic Parish where he played a key role in their recycling program to benefit charitable efforts in underdeveloped countries. Larry was always willing to give a hand up and mentorship to friends, family, and strangers. He positively impacted many lives during his lifetime.
Larry is survived by his wife of 56 years, Aurelia Rose Faletto Cunningham; four children, George (Karen) Cunningham of Manassas, VA, Joan (Michael Winton) Cunningham of Monument, CO, Gregory (LaCinda) Cunningham of Alamagordo, NM, and James Cunningham of Taylorsville, KY; five grandchildren, Nikki Barber, Nicholas, Michael, and Ryan Cunningham and Natalee Winton; and four great grandchildren, Zoey, Hanna, Carson and Emmalynn Schug.
Larry was noted for always answering the statement, “Have a good day” with “I never had a bad one!” 
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Montana Public Broadcasting System (montanapbs.org) or the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW.org) in Larry’s name.

Public Guest Book

Sep 18th
Lee Miller
Cunningham Family
Larry has always been a good friend of the Miller family, Lee,Terry,kevin,Brian,Tiffany.He has saved and given Tiffanyand Lee many license plates as we are collectors, We enjoyed many visits when he would stop by our cabin in Monarch,when he was wood hauling and hunting,He sure has been a swell friend of the Millers and so has Jim, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time of sorrow,he will be missed. Lee, Terry, and Family
Sep 18th
John Nelson
I would like to offer my condolences to Aurelia and to Larry's family. In my time as Store Director for the commissary, I first got to know Larry at the Retiree's meetings. We always visited when he was in the store and I really enjoyed it. I can honestly say, there was never a visit when he didn't have a joke for me. Sincerely, John Nelson
Sep 18th
Rick Lawson
My condolences to the Cunningham family. I had the privilege of meeting Larry as I was a friend of his son Jim. He was a great man with impeccable character.
Sep 18th
Bill Klumpp
So sorry to see Larry has passed. My prayers go out to him and his family. Larry was a great mentor, friend and teacher. He promoted me to Captain in 2008 and taught me many things about life and being an AF officer. He will surely be missed by not forgotten. Bill Klumpp
Sep 18th
Matthew Monti
Having had the good fortune of being acquainted with Mr. C for nearly forty years I can say with full confidence that he was a positive influence to all of us he touched. My prayers are with his family during this troubling time.
God has taken home his best woodcutter. Bless him.....
Sep 19th
The Hon., Dr. Thomas A. Cellucci
George and Family:
Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your Dad. It's now clear to me where all your Air Force pride and love originated. Having just lost my own Dad and Governor Cellucci three months ago, I can say that it's people like your Dad that make me proud to be an American because of their dedicated service to our country.

Sincerely,

Tommy
Sep 19th
Gabriel
I knew Larry almost exclusively as "Woodhawk" from his frequent donation visits to KGPR Great Falls public radio. He was a tireless worker with a ever present smile and a joke at the ready. A true character whose genuineness humbled my heart. He used to call me during late night shows and request to hear that "Didgeridoo" music, which now that I think about it, makes sense for a Woodhawk. I will miss him and his overflowing love for life and laughter. I wish I could remember at least one of his gutbusting jokes, but that's not my thing. Perhaps he'll come tell me one in my dreams. My sincerest condolences to his wife and family. Celebrate the memories, of which there must be many to choose from. Truly a one-of-a-kind!
Sep 20th
Mildred Smith
With deepest sympathy from Mildred Morozowich Smith...your classmate from Washington Wendel Grade School and Harrold Junior High.
Millie
Sep 20th
Col Lyman Faith, USAF Ret.
Mr. C was an American Hero. He was a kind and generous man.
Sep 20th
Holloman F22 Mod Team (Gregs Co-workers)
Greg and his family,
We never met "Larry" but thru the endearing stories that Greg has told us over the years of his father that he is so proud of. We feel that we know him. We want to pass on our condolences to you and your famly. We thank "Larry" for his patriotism and service.
Sep 20th
Les Stair
Carin and I send our condolences to you Aurelia and family. We had a lot of great times; Larry and I, ice fishing, deer hunting, and just spending good time together. Larry was a very intelligent, kind, hilariously funny, and thoughtful guy. He'll certainly be missed. Les Stair Tucson, AZ
Sep 21st
Georgia Remmel (Brurud)
Dear Aurelia and Family,
I was saddened to read of Larry's passing in Wednesday's online Tribune. Larry was a man of honor and integrity who led by example and set a high standard to follow. Knowing the Cunningham Family is one of my most treasured memories and experienes of my years working with Aurelia at CMR. My heart goes out to you as you grieve the loss of such a husband and father. Together, Larry and Aurelia raised four of the finest children I have I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. I trust that your faith, closeness as a family, and memories will help ease your pain.
Georgia Remmel, Sherwood, OR
Sep 26th
Dean Jay, CMSgt, USAF, RET
Aurelia and family,
Wow what a great loss to a great warrior and citizen. I am proud to have served with major Leroy Cunningham. He was such a great mentor to all who came in contact with him. Work hard and play hard was his style. I owe him so much for the many hunting and fishing trips. He was always eager to show a new hunter or fisherman how to be successful before he shot his or caught his. I learned alot from him and saw some beautiful country due to him. He was proud of his family and talked about his kids often. I remember the time when I bought him a new horse blanket and tracked him down to the Longhorn. I gave him the blanket and he immediately wrapped himself in it. It stayed on until Aurelia arrived and indicated it might be time to go home. Love to you all.
Dean Jay
Oct 17th
Greg Cunningham
Adios Amigo, Vaya Con Dios

 


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