Noel Cunningham's funeral services are Friday at St. John's Cathedral

We, as well as the rest of the Denver community, were beyond shocked and heartbroken to learn that Noel Cunningham, chef/owner of Strings, and one of this city's most altruistic humanitarians, died unexpectedly last Thursday.

Cunningham, whose life was cut way too short -- he was just 62 when he passed away -- had lost 35 pounds in recent months, although doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause. He died at home, among family, and on Friday, they, along with hundreds of others, will gather at St. John's Cathedral, 1350 Washington Street, to pay tribute to a man who touched the lives and hearts of thousands, including Pat "Gabby Gourmet" Miller, his best friend. "Noel was my best friend for 27 years. He was the brother I never had, and he was there for me through the good and the bad, celebrations and heartache. He was a fabulous human being and someone who can never be replace," she told me. "I will miss him always, but he will be here with me---and everyone else -- forever."

Cunningham's funeral services will begin at 11 a.m., and they'll be followed by a reception at String's. If you don't want to drive to the service, Jay's Valet is offering complimentary shuttle service from Strings to St. John's Cathedral -- and back. In addition, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, there will be a viewing service at Olinger Hampden Mortuary, located at 8600 East Hampden Avenue.

In lieu of flowers, donations to assist the Cunningham family can be made through:

Noel Cunningham Fund Am First Bank 5201 S. Yosemite St Greenwood Village, CO 80111

We'll continue to post updates as we get them. In the meantime, please keep the Cunningham family in your thoughts and hearts.

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