Eugene Cunningham

27/10/1932 - 30/08/2020

Obituary For Eugene Cunningham

October 27, 1932 – August 30, 2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Eugene Cunningham, on Sunday, August 30th at 87 years of age. He was born in Grande Prairie and raised on a farm in the Albright District. He attended North Beaverlodge School and was a member of the first graduating class of the Fairview Agricultural College.

Eugene worked as a lineman for Alberta Power for a number of years. He later returned home to farm where he met his wife Shirley Mill. He farmed for many years and worked at various jobs. He ended his working career at the County of Grande Prairie in the Ag Department.

He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge for many years. He enjoyed square dance calling, hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with his family.

Eugene is survived by his loving wife Shirley of 61 years, daughter Debby (Lyle), Katelyn and Ryon (Jenny), son Ray (Maureen), Riley, Jamie (Liam), Megan (Cody) and Matt and two great grandchildren – Hayes and Niall. He is survived by his siblings, Ralph, Eunice and Dave (Barb).

Due to COVID, a private funeral service (invitation only) will be held at Bear Creek Funeral Home on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm with live streaming available through Bear Creek Funeral Home You Tube Channel.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Beaverlodge Hospital Foundation, Box 480, Beaverlodge, AB T0H 0C0 or Parkinson’s Association, #230C 4039 Brentwood Rd NW, Calgary AB T2L 1L1 or the charity of one’s choice.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742

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Dear Shirley, Debby, Ray and families Ron and I were so saddened to hear of Gene's passing. We were very thankful for technology and had Mom and Dad come over to our house to watch the service today. It meant so much to all of us and especially them as they wouldn't ever have been able to make the trip up there. Take care and know that we are all thinking of you
- Judy Konieczny
Shirley and family, my sympathy on the loss of Gene, he will be missed!
- Dorothea Omlid
Ray and Maureen,we are so sorry to hear about your Dad are thought are with you and your family,sending our sympathy to all of you,Doug @ Pat Kramer.
- Doug Kramer
Dear Shirley & families, So shocked & saddened to see that Gene passed. We had so many laughs during our time working at the County. Those memories will last forever. Sympathy to all
- Trudy Peterson
Cory and I are very sorry to hear of the passing of Eugene. Our condolences to you all. We will be thinking of you often in the days to come. Take care.
- Michelle
We wish to send our sincere condolences to Shirley and family on Eugene's passing! We have lots of memories of Eugene and Shirley coming to visit Loreen and Charlie and when the cousins ( Norman, Pat and Charlie) and Eugene were together there were certainly lots of laughs! Once again our sympathy! Take care! Joyce, Lloyd, Margaret and Lois(Whelan)
- Joyce Babuik
Our sympathies to you Shirley and your family I got to know Eugene in the years we both worked at the County and it is sad to see another pioneer of this country gone Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones Frank and Trudi Lowen
- Frank Lowen
Shirley and family, I'm so sorry to hear about Eugene. I have so many fond memories from Cunningham family reunions of him... flipping pancakes, driving kids around the farm in the wagon on the quad, and simply making those around him laugh. He was truly a great man, full of energy and life. He will be missed. Love to you all.
- Jayne Degenhardt
Shirley, Debby', Ray and families. Sending my sympathy to you all.
- Maureen Pfau
I just wanted to express my condolences to your family. It was such a pleasure being his care aide and having wonderful visits with Angus and rusty. Made my mornings.
- Nicole buckland
Shirley , I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of Eugene. My thoughts and Prayers be with you and your family at this time. He was a GREAT man. And a gentle soul. God Bless
- Faye

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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