Philip Eugene Cunningham “Big Phil” was born June 5,1953 in Toledo, OH to Paul and Lessie (Moon) Cunningham. He graduated from Rogers High School in 1971. He attended BGSU for a short period of time, where he became a member of the Epsilon Phi chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. This was a critical period in his life, one where he began to embody the fraternity's mission of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.” He left school and began employment at Phillip Morris as a salesman. He later completed his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from The University of Toledo. He was also employed at several places including the Toledo Chapter of the National Urban League, the Private Industry Council, and retired from LMHA.
Philip became an avid photographer, helped to organize and DJ various events, and met many prominent figures of the time; including members of Parliament Funkadelic and James Baldwin. Philip spent two decades as a mentor and a connector, eventually, becoming a regional expert on career development and self-sufficiency. He enjoyed roles that connected people to jobs and opportunities. In his later years, Philip spent his time growing into his new role as grandparent. Philip originally grew up attending Third Baptist Church with his grandmother where he gained his primary relationship with Jesus. He also became a deacon at the church. In later years, he became a member of Cornerstone Church where he attended the Global School of Ministry and he obtained his certificate in Marketplace Ministry. He was also a “Cornerstone Crew” member and a part of the photography team.
Philip believed in people. He encouraged everyone he met to follow their dreams and to see the world. He had the unique ability to see potential in everyone. Philip loved his family. He was extremely proud of his sons for becoming the men that they are. Philip cherished his friends. Philip was also a founding member of The NETT (a monthly networking event in Toledo, OH) that ran from 2007-2011, which led to the conception of “419 Day,” a celebration of Toledo.
Philip was preceded in death by both parents. He is survived by his devoted wife, Donna Cunningham, his brother Joshua Carter, and three sons, Philip (Shanon), Joshua (Priscilla) and Malcolm Cunningham, his stepdaughters Deonna Gregory and Erika Frazier, three grandchildren, and a host of loving relatives and friends.
The family would like to thank the Men’s Connect Group from Cornerstone Church for their kindness and compassionately spending time with Philip on a regular basis. He loved them and always looked forward to the visits.