In Loving Memory

Jimmy J. “Sonny” Cunningham

October 4, 1940 - January 19, 2023


Jimmy J. “Sonny” Cunningham, 82, a native of Jasper, Alabama and longtime resident of Orange Beach Alabama, passed away in his home in Bella Luna on January 19, 2023. 

Growing up, Sonny was a running back for the Walker County Vikings, “streaking” over the goal line for one of the touchdowns securing the State Championship in 1957. He was a 1963 graduate of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide), was a lifetime member of the Alabama Alumni Association and was a steadfast Alabama fan. 

Mr. Cunningham worked his way up the corporate ladder to become President of Scott Paper International. He was a self-made man and after retiring, continued his successful life as an entrepreneur who pursued his dreams of starting a hunting lodge and organizing hunts. Among his accomplishments were Stone Ledge, Southern Cross Sportsmen and Secco Creek Ranch, as well as being the original acting President of the Bella Luna Homeowners Association for 14 years until his time of death.

Throughout his lifetime he enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, boating, traveling and sports. He enjoyed playing rummikub with his daughters and granddaughters, a Grey Goose cocktail, relaxing in the hot tub with his Kindle and unwinding with Netflix. His greatest love was for his family, He was their rock and patriarch. He led an adventurous and full life, leaving behind a legacy of memories with those whom he loved.

He was preceded in death by both parents, Dorothy Simms Cunningham Martin and Bill Cunningham, of Jasper, Alabama.

Mr. Cunningham is survived by his three daughters, Kelly Rieck, Kimberly Cunningham and Kaci Thomas, all currently of Orange Beach, Alabama. He was pawpaw to five grandchildren, James, Cortney, Ericka, Melanie and Sarah Jane; as well as his great granddaughter, June. He was brother to Gary Michael Cunningham, currently of Troy, Alabama; and a father figure to Teresa “T” Badonsky of Bella Luna. Sonny was a staunch and faithful friend to many.

There will be a Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Bella Luna Condominiums, 29531 Perdido Beach Blvd. in Orange Beach, AL, at 3PM.

In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial contribution to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.


  1. Alicia & Trudy

    With our deepest heartfelt condolences from Alicia & Trudy Whisonant. May you RIP for eternity, Jimmy Cunningham, as you watch over your beloved family with whom you’ve created such wonderful memories as so beautifully expressed in the cover tribute. No doubt your old Wyckoff buddy…our beloved Wylie…will find you in heaven & you’ll enjoy some bellowing laughs, tennis, & some good ole Grey Goose together. RIP knowing you’ve clearly raised three incredibly strong women who will find a way to push through together & always carry your memory in their hearts. Our love & prayers to Kaci, Kelly, Kim & family.

  2. Albert Thompson

    Jim was well read and educated man that was not into nonsense. If you wanted a true opinion he was a good “go to”

    I enjoyed several years of golf, travel and business with Jimmy, Could near compose a book on stories and events we encountered along the way. The memories has value.

    Jim lived and shared a good life, great careers, and he never failed to share family stories on the course and cocktail hours.

    I give my best wishes to the girls and family, and I hope you can stand proud and strong with your loss. He was a good man.

    RIP my friend, you were one great provider and family man.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *