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Lonnie Cunningham Sr.
July 7, 1926 ~ February 4, 2024 (age 97) 97 Years Old
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Lonnie Cunningham Sr, affectionately known as “Dad” to his family, was born to the late Banks
and Geneva Cunningham-Grier in Fort Lawn, S.C., on July 7, 1926.
Lonnie Sr. was educated in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. At sixteen, he joined the United
States Navy, serving this country as a sailor. In 1946, Lonnie married the love of his life
Kathleen Campbell. A year later the couple moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where five
children were born.
Lonnie Sr. worked as a mechanic at J&L Steel Southside for thirty-three years before
retiring. For the first twenty-three years, he never missed a day of work until the death of his
oldest daughter. After retiring, Lonnie Sr. worked as an armed security guard at several
Lonnie Sr. enjoyed golfing, bowling, and drawing. He also loved landscaping and home
remodeling in his spare time. He was a dedicated Father and Grandfather who loved and
provided for his family.
In 1961, Lonnie Sr. and Kathleen joined Christian Chapel A.M.E. Church. They were very
active in the church ministry. After his wife passed, he returned to Charlotte, NC, where he
joined Reeder Memorial Baptist Church and became a Deacon. He returned to Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, in 2002, and started attending Baptist Temple Church, and later joined. He was a
faithful member who attended regularly until recent health challenges.
He departed this earthly life on February 4, 2024. He was preceded in death by the love of his
life, Kathleen Cunningham, with whom he shared 44 years of marriage; son, Lonnie DeWayne
Cunningham; and daughter, Cheryl Cunningham; great grandsons, Robert Hampton Jr. and twin
boys Saint and Syire Mathis.
He leaves cherished memories to daughters, Lynda (Wallace) Hamilton and Deidra L. Thompson;
Lonnie (Lillian) Cunningham, Jr. and the granddaughter he raised, Kelley (Andre) Buefort;
thirteen grandchildren, thirty-one great-grandchildren, and thirteen great-great grandchildren;
and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.