Obituary: Alicia Sky Kunerth

Alicia Sky Kunerth

Alicia Sky (Varinaitis) Kunerth died at her home in Malibu on Aug. 30 at the age of 47, following a 16-year battle with brain cancer. 

Sky was born June 20, 1971, in Van Nuys. Following graduation from James Monroe High School, she attended UCLA where she received a degree in psychology. She started her career in the entertainment industry at the talent agency CAA before working for Walt Disney Television.

In 1997, she met her husband while the two worked as writers’ assistants on the TV show “Friends.” Later, she went on to write for several TV sitcoms, animated series and feature film projects. 

Sky was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer while seven months pregnant with their daughter, Ashlyn. After her first brain surgery in 2002, Sky was given a prognosis of 18 months to live. Defying all medical expectations, she lived and lived fully for more than sixteen years, fighting her way back from three brain surgeries, 80 rounds of chemotherapy, two rounds of radiation and countless hospital stays.

“Sky had a radiant smile, an infectious laugh, an indomitable spirit, and an undeniable and fierce love for her family and enormous circle of friends,” a loved one said. She was an active member of the Malibu community, serving on the board of the Malibu Labor Exchange, volunteering her time to organize school events and fundraisers, and was a strong voice in the PTA. 

“Despite her many medical ups and downs, Sky also cherished the role of enthusiastic mentor for a long list of friends, family and strangers who were on their own cancer journey,” a loved one said. 

She is preceded in death by her grandparents and father, John Varinaitis. She is survived by Mark, her husband of 18 years, and her daughter, Ashlyn. She is also survived by her stepmother, Barbara Varinaitis; mom, Mary Miles; and brother, Mike Varinaitis.

A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church. There will be a celebration of life at Saddlerock Ranch (31727 Mulholland Highway) on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 1-5 p.m.