Curtis Cunningham

Obituary of Curtis James Cunningham

September 19, 1980 – Calgary, Alberta

May 17, 2024 – Banff, Alberta


In a tragic event on the evening of Friday, May 17, 2024, our beloved son, and brother Curtis Cunningham was taken from us at the age of 43 years. Words cannot express the emptiness we feel at this time. Our loss is felt by his many relatives, friends, and co-workers.


Curtis was born in Calgary at the Foothills Hospital on September 19th, 1980. Curtis and his mother, Linda, spent the early 80s moving between Calgary and Drumheller but had settled in Drumheller during his early years.


In 1989, his mother met her future husband (and his future father), Jon, while she was visiting Calgary. The romance blossomed, and in 1990, Linda and Curtis moved to Calgary to start their lives as a family. Curtis adapted well to his new environment in the big city.


He was joined by his sister, Jennifer, in 1993, and was now officially a big brother. They would be joined by his brother Sean in 2000.


His foray into the food service industry began with his first employment at Moxies, but that was short-lived. Undeterred, his next job was at Original Joe’s, and the seeds of his passion had been planted.


After graduating high school in 1999, he decided to move out on his own for the first time and work full-time. He soon came to the realization that the food service industry required more than just passion and made the decision to enroll in the SAIT Culinary School. 


Curtis graduated with his culinary diploma in late 2001 and had been working in the food service industry for a few years at this point. His passion was now ignited by his newfound skills and the opportunities it presented.

This passion would sustain him through the highs and lows that are prevalent in the food service industry until his untimely passing.


Having worked at many restaurants in the Calgary area over the years, Curtis made the move to Saskatchewan (Saskatoon and later Lumsden) in 2014 and was instrumental in the success of the many restaurants he worked for.


After returning to Calgary and continuing his career in 2019, he made the move to Banff in 2023 to embark on a new chapter. It was a rough road to start, but he had found a comfortable and rewarding role at the Gondola restaurant.


Loved and respected by his many co-workers and peers, Curtis’ passion for his craft was unparalleled. This passion was only eclipsed by his dedication, compassion, and support for his co-workers in an extremely challenging occupation.


Curtis had internal obstacles which led to times of chaos and times of clarity. While we all did our best to help him through these times, his sense of ownership precluded him from ever fully sharing the underlying sources of his challenges.


We are all heartbroken and we ask that you share your thoughts, pain, and prayers with his extended family as we attempt to understand our tragic loss. Curtis has left an indelible imprint on us all that is also unique to each one of us and is meant to be shared at this difficult time.


Curtis is survived by his parents, Jon and Linda Schnell; his sister Jennifer Schnell, his brother Sean Schnell, his grandparents, Gordon and Jeanne Schnell; aunts and uncles, David and Colleen Schnell, Patrick Schnell, Donna and Bill Leaking, Rick Burgess, Suzie Lunitz, Danny and Patsy Andrew; and many cousins and relatives.   


Curtis was predeceased by his cousin Sarah Schnell, his grandparents, Mae Lunitz (nee Cunningham) and John “Red” Lunitz; and his aunts, Brenda Burgess (nee Zotzman) and Gayle Lunitz.


If friends so desire, instead of flowers, please consider a donation in Curtis’ name to a mental health or addiction support organization of your choice, or to the Calgary Dream Centre 4510 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2G 0A4, Telephone: 403-243-5598,


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Curtis’ family here.


In living memory of Curtis Cunningham, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle NW, Calgary, AB T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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