Manuel J. Cunha Jr. of East Hampton, who died after the car he was driving swerved off the road and burst into flames on Saturday, will be buried today. Mr. Cunha, who was 58, was killed with his friend Thomas Wheeler while the two were driving on Brick Kiln Road in Noyac.
Mr. Cunha’s sister Lauren Schellinger of Sag Harbor remembered him yesterday as a man who loved to be out on the water fishing or clamming. He had been hoping to get a new boat soon, she said.
He had also been fixing up his house in anticipation of having his companion, Linda Pazera, move in with him. Mr. Cunha was a divorced father of a 21-year-old son, who survives him.
As a young man, Mr. Cunha, who grew up in Sag Harbor, joined the Navy, serving from 1971 to 1975. During the Vietnam War, Mr. Cunha did not serve inside that country but did “damage control work,” his sister said, from outside the battle zones. He subsequently served for a time in the Middle East.
Five years ago, Mr. Cunha moved to Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton. He had been working for Mr. Wheeler as a carpenter in recent months.
Born in Southampton on May 29, 1952, to the former Frances Adele Field and Manuel J. Cunha Sr., he attended Pierson High School in Sag Harbor.
A pasta dinner fund-raiser for the families of Mr. Cunha and Mr. Wheeler (whose obituary also appears in this issue) will be held on Saturday at Pierson High School from 5 to 7 p.m. The cost is $10 a plate.
In addition to Ms. Schellinger and Christopher G. Cunha of Forest Hills, Queens, his son, Mr. Cunha is survived by his mother, who lives in Sag Harbor, and by three other sisters, Rhonda Cunha of Tequesta, Fla., Cherryl Cunha of Caroga Lake, N.Y., and Sharon Adam of Sag Harbor. He is also survived by a brother, Anthony Cunha of Sag Harbor, and by two nieces and two nephews. His father died in July.
Visiting hours were yesterday at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor. A funeral will take place there at 11 a.m. today, with burial to follow at St. Andrew’s Cemetery in Sag Harbor.
Memorial donations have been suggested to Christopher G. Cunha at 7232 Juno Street, Forest Hills, 11375, or to the Sag Harbor Fire Department, P.O. Box 209, Sag Harbor 11963.