Elvino Cunha, 84, Cuyahoga Falls, passed away Saturday, August 7, 2021, of Alzheimer’s disease and late-stage cancer.
He was born September 30, 1936, in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic, to Alzira and Carlos Cunha. At age 11, he moved to Lisbon to pursue his studies, which he completed at the University of Lisbon. He served in the Portuguese Air Force as an air traffic controller for nearly a decade.
After his military service, Elvino immigrated to Angola, where he worked for General Tire as a sales representative, selling industrial tires in West Africa. Always a fiercely competitive sales agent, he would drive through the jungle at night, often managing to arrive at industrial sites long before his competitors, who preferred flying in on company planes, did.
In the 1970s, the Angolan war for independence displaced him and his family. At the age of forty, having lost everything for which he had worked, he immigrated to the United States and began building his life once again. In 1977, he became a real estate agent, first at Gene Allen Realty, then at Geneva Chervenic (now Keller Williams Chervenic) Realty. His professional life brought him success - over the years, he received many local and state-wide awards, but just as importantly, it brought him enormous joy. To him, no home was too shabby, no piece of land too unpromising - they were all beautiful, a word he used often and emphatically, or bee-YOU-tee-ful, as he would say in his own inimitable accent. Sales were his true calling - he never felt as though he was meeting a stranger, and his truly gallant manner and lovely smile were captivating and genuine.
Elvino is survived by his loving wife of forty one years, Donna; his two children, Cristina Cunha Parsons (Don), Washington, D.C., and Luis Pedro Cunha, Lisbon, Portugal; his granddaughter, Madalena Parsons, Washington, D.C.; his brothers, Leonides Cunha (Evangelina), Newark, California, and Humberto Cunha (Bernardete), Merced, California; his sister, Goretti Borges (João), Azores; his sister-in-law, Carla Wellman (John Shoemaker), Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; eighteen nieces and nephews; many beloved friends, including Rick and Sandra Lafferty, with whom he was close for 46 years. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Areolinda Carvalho (António), of San Jose, California, and Ascelina Cunha Leite, Azores; two brothers, Ezequiel Cunha (Evelina), Fall River, Massachusetts, and Orlando Cunha (Ana Maria), San Jose, California.
The family is grateful to Sunrise of Cuyahoga Falls and to Hospice of the Western Reserve for the compassion with which they helped care for Elvino during his last two weeks.
A private funeral service was held at the First Congregational Church of Akron. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association. Arrangements entrusted to Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory, 330-928-2147.