Steven Anthony Cunetta|
Steve was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 9, 1958, to Gloria Sgarrino Cunetta and Anthony Cunetta.
He was raised in a three-story Brooklyn walk-up with three generations of Cunettas, including his immigrant grandparents and a gaggle of first cousins. These early years fostered a passion for his Italian heritage, TV jingles, and the New York Mets.
Steve was the son and grandson of carpenters and attended Yale University with the help of a scholarship from the carpenters' union. At Yale he excelled as a first tenor in the a cappella group The Baker's Dozen, captained his college intramural bowling and softball teams, and kept friends in stitches with his unsurpassed wit and self-deprecating humor.
After finishing school, Steve put his Ivy League education to work selling Bibles door to door. Following stints with Proctor & Gamble and Young & Rubicam, he moved to McCann-Erickson in Seattle in 1989. Steve joined Jim Copacino at the inception of his advertising agency (now Copacino+Fujikado) in 1998. Accepting that he was never going to be drafted to play second base for the NY Mets, Steve did the next best thing; he became the account manager for the Seattle Mariners, marrying his advertising know-how with his love of baseball. Steve was a major contributor to the award-winning Mariners' TV ads, was the in-stadium announcer for several turn-back-the-clock games, and is the acknowledged father of the Sodo Mojo campaign.
Steve found his greatest joy as a father to sons Michael and Nicholas. Sharing his love of baseball with his boys led Steve to become involved in Seattle PONY Baseball. As a coach to hundreds of kids over the years, he shared his knowledge of the game, his managerial skills, and lessons about life. For Steve, it wasn't just about winning the game; it was about helping each player become the best person possible. Steve's legacy as a coach, board president, and mentor was acknowledged recently by the Seattle PONY Baseball League, which created the Steve Cunetta Championship Trophy to honor his years of service, inspiration, and devotion to children.
In March 2012, Steve was diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. He handled cancer the way he did the rest of his life - with humor, humility, courage, and an unending sense of wonder.
Steve is survived by his sons, Michael and Nicholas Cunetta of Seattle, his brother and sister-in-law, Michael and Maryann Cunetta of New York, and many dear and devoted relatives and friends on both coasts.
A celebration of Steve's life will take place in the New York City area on Saturday, May 18th, and in Seattle on June 2nd. Contributions promoting research into a cure for angiosarcoma may be made in Steve's name to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, 9899 Main St., Suite 204, Damascus, Maryland 20872.
Published in The Seattle Times from May 11 to May 12, 2013