Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
William F. Cunningham Jr. “Bill”, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
1937 – February 06, 2021
USAF Lt. Col. (Ret), Age 84, fought a valiant battle against the Covid-19 virus until he passed on February 6.
Bill was born in Columbus, Ohio to the late Pearl and William F. Cunningham, Sr.
The beloved husband to Patricia Turner Cunningham; devoted father to Charles “Chuck,” Steven “Troy” (deceased) and loving stepfather to Michael “Chris” Morton, Philip Turner, Rebecca Turner, Esq.; “greatest” grandfather to Gabrielle Turner and Christopher E. Morton; dear brother to Etta Bailey and Betty Brown. He will also be lovingly remembered by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Bill was a retired Director of Port Control for the City of Cleveland (Director of Aviation Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport). Previously, he held positions in the Houston Texas Airport System including Airport Manager of Ellington Field and Assistant Airport Manager of Houston Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport.
Prior to his career in civil aviation, Bill retired from the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel. He served as Program Director for a worldwide United States Air Force Social Action Program which served 17,000 people, a Major Air Command Air War Plans Manager and Military Commander of various overseas and United States rescue helicopter units. As a helicopter pilot, he received much recognition for his many dangerous but successful rescue missions during the Vietnam War.
Bill graduated from Columbus East High School. He was a proud graduate of The Ohio State University where he became a member of his beloved Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Later he earned a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan). Bill loved traveling with his wife Patricia by land, sea or air. He supported his children and grandchildren in all of their endeavors. He enjoyed cooking and hosting family Thanksgivings. He was fiercely loyal to his OSU Buckeyes, the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Donations in honor of William F. Cunningham, Jr. may be made to The Cleveland American Veterans Association (CAVA), 1440 Rockside Road, Suite 118A, Parma, Ohio 44134, telephone 216-661-7753 or via Facebook.
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