Captain Steve R. Cunningham, 52, of Orange, died Saturday, March 15, 2008, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.

Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 19,  at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange, with Rev. Lynn Ashcraft and Rev. Scott McIntosh, officiating.

Burial will follow at Autumn Oaks Memorial Park in the McLewis Community.

Visitation will be 5-9 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Born in Pineville, La. on Sept. 28, 1955, he was the son of Howard and Doris (Bradburn) Cunningham.

He was a Towboat Captain for 35 years and was currently employed with Blessey Marine Services in New Orleans.

Cunningham was a 1974 graduate of Vinton High School. For 35 years, he was a United States Coast Guard 7th Issue Licensed Merchant Marine Officer. He was Master of Towing Vessels upon great lakes, inland water and western rivers. He was a radar observer with tank barge certification for loading dangerous, bulk, flammable and combustible liquids. He covered 22 states by water and loved every minute of it.

Cunningham was a member of North Orange Baptist Church and the Harley Davidson Hogg Chapter 4974 in Beaumont. He loved NASCAR, Harleys, his red ’66 Chevy truck and being at home with his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Doris Cunningham, and brother, Paul Cunningham.

A loving and devoted husband and father, Steve is survived by his wife, Jan Pring Cunningham; daughter, Erin Lee Cunningham, both of Orange; brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles and Virginia Cunningham of Orange, Robert Cunningham of Denver, Colo., Peter and Janice Cunningham of Levelland, William (Bill) Cunningham of Vinton, La.; sisters and brothers-in-law, Aleta and Wayne Tharpe, Lillie and Grant Becker, Janet and Daniel Keeling, all of Vinton; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Cunningham’s fellow Towboat Captains will serve as pallbearers and his friends and co-workers at Blessey Marine Services will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Those wishing to do so may make memorial contributions to United Way Children’s Fund or to the Diabetes Association.