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Trooper Cunniff called a great friend and father; Funeral arrangements announced

Friends, family and colleagues of Trooper David Cunniff are grappling with an unthinkable loss. The nine-year veteran of the New York State Police died Tuesday after his cruiser was hit by a tractor-trailer along the Thruway in Amsterdam Monday night.
State Police Trooper David Cunniff  (State Police Photo)
State Police Trooper David Cunniff (State Police Photo)
Albany (WSYR-TV/WTEN-TV) - Friends, family and colleagues of Trooper David Cunniff are grappling with an unthinkable loss.

The nine-year veteran of the New York State Police died Tuesday after his cruiser was hit by a tractor-trailer along the Thruway in Amsterdam Monday night.

Those who knew the 35-year-old say he was a huge part of their lives, the community, and an incredible example to his two young boys.

“We're really going to miss Dave. We loved his smile. We loved being around him. We loved the way that we could see that he loved his family. We're going to miss him a lot,” said Grace Fellowship communications director Jeffrey Stasko.

During the week, the sanctuary at Grace Fellowship Church in Latham is usually empty, but Tuesday it was full of heavy hearts after the loss of a friend.

As the creative arts director for the church, Mike North worked alongside Cunniff for years.

Cunniff played an important role in the church's worship band.

“Every time you saw him, he had a smile on his face, he was super energetic and he was a phenomenal musician,” North said.

He added that Cunniff loved to perform on stage and always made others laugh.

"He's generous with his time, generous with a joke, with a laugh," Stasko said. "Dave was somebody who lived life to the fullest. I remember when the first time I met him was at a staff Christmas party."

Cunniff is being remembered as a likeable, loving, caring man who would always go the extra mile. Whether at work, church, or home, so many looked up to him.

"With the things that Dave’s been through in his life, to have the attitude that he's had, to keep his chin up like he has, to work as hard as he's worked, to be the encouragement that he's been, to everyone that's around him has just been a terrific example,” Stasko said.

‘We know that he is in a better place, we know that he is in the right place now,” said North.

Cunniff's family and close friends spent Tuesday comforting one another, and the church says it will do the same for Cunniff's family during this difficult time.

Trooper David Cunniff is survived by his wife, Amy, and two sons, 6-year-old Caleb and 4-year-old Zachary.

Calling hours are scheduled for Thursday at Grace Fellowship Church in Latham. A funeral service will follow on Thursday.

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