Richard F. Cunningham Jr.
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Richard F. Cunningham Jr., 32, of Milltown found his peace on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6, and a service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, at The Crabiel Home for Funerals, 170 N. Main St. at Riva Avenue, Milltown, NJ. You may sign the "obituary" e-mail condolence "Guestbook" at www.Crabiel.com. Memories and messages to the family can be posted at www.armyofrich.org.
Born in Livingston, raised in Irvington and Matawan, Rich went on to graduate from Rutgers University in 1999 with a degree in labor studies. In 1995 Rich formed Happy Days Records and gave the world a first glance at bands such as Hot Water Music and Ink & Dagger, as well as other great records by artists such as Endeavor, Human Remains, and Time's Up. Shortly after graduating, Rich moved his efforts, experience, and passion to begin a career in labor organizing. He formed New Labor, an alternative model of worker organization centered on organizing and building power for low-wage, young, immigrant workers in central New Jersey. New Labor has grown to over 1,500 members since its founding in 2000. His work as executive director of New Labor led to another labor partnership and the founding of Laborers Local 55 in 2009, a new local focused on emerging industries such as green construction and energy conservation. Most recently, Rich worked as a business manager with Laborers Local 55.
Although his professional accomplishments were many, his greatest personal accomplishment was being an amazing father to his girls. He was predeceased by his father, Richard Cunningham Sr. His spirit, passion and love lives on in his wife, Heather Knapp Cunningham; his twin daughters, Lily Ava and Reese Sydney; his mother Karen Gebhardt Cunningham; his sister, Melissa Cunningham, as well as the countless other family, friends, and co-workers whose lives he touched.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to www.armyofrich.org, www.thetjlfoundation.org or www.challahfoundation.org.