Alexander William Cunningham was born in June 1989 and raised in San Francisco, CA, attending Lakeshore Elementary School, Cathedral School for Boys, and St. Ignatius High School where he was on the golf and championship CCS football team, graduating in 2007. He received a degree in chemical engineering with a business minor from Villanova University in 2011. He struggled with opioid addiction in his senior year and found sobriety in Westerly RI in 2013 under the auspices of the Warm Center.
Alexander began his professional career in New London, CT, in the Environmental Health and Safety field. In 2015 he returned to San Francisco and began work as a field technician for Garratt-Callahan where he visited most of the City’s major office and municipal structures working with mechanical engineering departments addressing water treatment concerns. Inspired by the City’s burgeoning tech boom, Alexander gained employment at Pager Duty, selling software services before the company went public. During this time he met Dr. Anthony Gustin who became his dear friend and mentor. With Anthony he took a leap of entrepreneurial faith in 2018 and transferred his focus to the keto diet and a newly formed San Francisco company, Perfect Keto.
Over the ensuing 2 years the company moved to Austin, TX, with Alexander as Employee #1 (after the 2 founders). With no formal training Alexander originated an affiliate marketing program that was cutting edge in its use of the internet to drive sales to approximately $65M. As Covid grew in intensity in 2020, Alexander began working remotely in locales such as San Francisco, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Columbia, Miami, and Tampa satisfying his travel and experience bug. While the nomad world was exciting, he lost his structure and routines that were the foundation of his recovery. This summer he returned to Westerly, RI, to once again address his opioid addiction. He passed on August 23, 2021.
Alexander deserved better. His was a life of innumerable memorable moments, joy and exuberance, laughter, family, tremendous tenacity, and discipline. Alexander was deep and emotionally open, everyone’s favorite, a great listener and conversationalist. He was a Bitcoin prophet, a great dancer, pianist and innocent in many ways as he strove to keep his life simple. He loved cross-fit and training with his Uncle Doug. He strongly espoused a protein diet with an appetite that was beyond comprehension. He was an expert nutritionist and could debate for hours healthy living practices and what foods were good or bad for your body.
Alexander’s life was shaped by the crucible of battling opioid addiction and his herculean efforts to get beyond it. He did so for 8+ years. He worked and re-worked the 12 steps and sponsored others battling the same demon. He started every day with a large dose of Vitamin G – Gratitude, and gave the deepest of thank you’s. Working the steps over and over he developed a sereneness that propelled his inner light.
A talented golfer, Alexander was a hero to his father, Marc Cunningham of San Francisco. Earning his degree, his wry sense of humor and take on life, dealing with inherited painful back issues, being part of a very successful food company start up, serving on the Boards of two food companies, and engaging heartily with life daily with an incredible willpower, Alexander was remarkable in every aspect.
To his brother, Oliver, Alexander was a warrior and a champion. His passion and boundless optimism were infectious and inspiring. He had a wealth of knowledge and was both a great teacher and an earnest listener. Above all else, he was an absolutely great brother. He never once complained about the issues he faced, just kept his blue eyes smiling and looking toward the future.
Alexander was an incandescent star and the light in many people’s lives including his late mother Karen Cunningham, his grandparents, David & Geraldine Cunningham of Ashaway, RI, his surrogate mom and godmother, Kathy Riley of Kansas City, his godfather, John Schoenberger of Lake Shangrila, WI, his many aunts and uncles (Dr. James Richardson, Mary Kay Kirgis, Ann Cammarata, Dan Kirgis, Candace Cunningham, Linda & Matt Cunningham, Jo & Peter Robinson, Todd, Doug, Lori and Ann Cunningham), numerous cousins, untold number of friends and professional colleagues in CA, AZ, NV, CT, & TX. He had no idea of the lives he touched and the joy he brought. Let’s GO!
Gifts in his memory should be forwarded to the Warm Center, 56 Spruce St, Westerly, RI, 02891.
Services will be held in Westerly, RI, on Saturday, August 28, at 11 AM in Wilcox Park, followed by his burial at River Bend Cemetery.
Memorials will be scheduled in Austin, TX, and San Francisco, CA, later in the year.
For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com
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