Ralph Cunningham, an entrepreneur and community leader, died on Saturday, July 20, 2019. He was 60.
He was known as “The Boss.”
He was born on Jan. 15, 1959 in North Philadelphia. When he was 13, he and his brothers, Ronald and James, moved to Mt. Airy, where they were raised by their older sisters, after the passing of their mother, Thelma.
It was in Wadsworth section of Mt. Airy, where he met lifelong friends, pals who became brothers and obtained his education.
Cunningham attended Morris E. Leeds School and Germantown High School. After high school, he decided to become an entrepreneur.
In 1978, he and his friend, Tyler opened a variety store in the East Oak Lane neighborhood. This was the start of many more business ventures to follow.
Cunningham was regarded as a pillar of the Wadsworth neighborhood and mentored young people in the community. In 2018, he was honored by City Council for his community service during Wadsworth’s Finest Reunion.
He is survived by: his daughter, Jasmine Cunningham and her mother, Marcella Joe; sisters, Betty Frederick and Viola “Joanne” Hancock (Ceaser); nieces, Lisa Williams (Ezra Sr.), Dana Paige (William) and Kimberly Washington; nephew, Cameron Hancock; great-nieces, Kristin Williams and Megan Davidson and Chaz Hancock; great-nephews; Ezra Williams Jr., James Davidson, Ross and Carter Jennings and other relatives and friends.
Services were held July 26 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Ave.