Tony Cunningham


Anthony “Tony” William Cunningham “Chops,” age 61, of Sylva, N.C., died unexpectedly on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020.

He was the son of the late George B. Cunningham and Maxine Queen Cunningham of Sylva, N.C.

He was loved dearly by all his family and friends and will be missed. He had a heart of gold.

He was a 1976 graduate of Sylva-Webster High School, where he played football. He was a miner for most of his life and had mined all over the world.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Keith “Ham” Cunningham.

He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Sandria Owens Cunningham; his daughters, Tashauna Murcia of Bryson City, N.C., Megan Murcia of Franklin, N.C., Callie Owens of Cullowhee, N.C.; his sons, Cody Cunningham of Cullowhee, N.C., Jon Owens of Roanoke, Va., Josh Owens of Lynchburg, Va.; his sister Tammy Cogdill of Sylva; one brother, Stanley Cunningham of East Flat Rock, N.C.; a special sister-in-law, Sandy Cunningham of Laurel, Mont.; and a nephew who was like a son, Lonnie Cunningham of Philippe, W.Va.

They were blessed with 12 grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews also survive.

A celebration of life will be at the Barkers Creek Community Building on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at 2 p.m.