John Cunniffe made an impact in many ways – lacrosse-wise and otherwise.

The first All-American in John Jay High School history, Cunniffe went on to play at West Point. A Gulf War veteran, he gave back to the Katonah/Lewisboro community as a coach and board member of John Jay Youth Lacrosse.

Cunniffe died peacefully on Sunday after a battle with ALS. The 46-year-old 1984 JJHS graduate, who played attack, was diagnosed with what is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease in April 2010 after months of testing.

He is survived by his wife, Melissa, daughter, Eliza, 15, and son, Charlie, 11. Eliza played JV lacrosse at John Jay this past spring. Charlie plays in John Jay’s youth program.

The Cunniffe family will receive friends on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Clark Associates Funeral Home in Katonah.

A memorial mass/service will be celebrated on Friday, Dec. 7 at 10:15 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Ridgefield, Conn.

The last two years, the John Jay-Yorktown varsity boys game, which annually benefits a special cause, adopted ALS research as its theme in honor of Cunniffe.

You can read a letter Cunniffe wrote about his battle with ALS that appeared in this March 22, 2011 story.

John Cunniffe, center, wore No. 32 for John Jay. The attackman was team captain his senior year in 1984.


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6 Responses to “Memorial services set for John Jay legend John Cunniffe”

  1. CKlax says:

    What a loss. A truly great man on so many levels. He’ll be missed. He taught my son the proper way to play lacrosse many years ago. Nice to hear he was still doing that for the John Jay youth more recently. My prayers go out to John and his family.

  2. Jaybird says:

    Wonderful article and such poignant photos. Beautiful letter by John. His legacy will live on on for so many years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his beautiful family.

  3. JTL says:

    RIP John. Thankyiu for all you did for the community.

  4. Lax family says:

    John was a kind and generous man. He will be missed.

  5. sgt hulka says:

    John’s contribution to our community extended well beyond the lacrosse field. He taught my son many valuable lessons that are as relevant off the field as on. We are honored to be have been a part of his world.

    My thoughts are with Melissa and the kids.

    RIP John

  6. old rugger says:

    A good man who left us too early. Rip John and thank you