Tom Wendell Cornwall

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tom Wendell Cornwall, passed away on Jan. 29,2011, at Deerfield Lifespace Community Care Center after a short battle with cancer. He was born Feb, 13,1927, in Spencer Ia., to Wilson and Ruth Cornwall. Tom attended public schools in Spencer and graduated from Kemper Military High School. After graduating from high school he served in the army for 18 months before attending Dartmouth College where he graduated with a liberal arts degree. Tom then attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a law degree in 1953.

Tom married Marjorie Warner while in law school and upon graduation they returned to Spencer where Tom joined the law firm of Cornwall & Cornwall started by his grandfather W.W. Cornwall in 1892 . When Tom joined the firm it was composed of his father Wilson Cornwall, his uncle Morgan Cornwall, his brother Mabry Cornwall, and himself. Tom practiced law with the firm for 54 years until his retirement in 2008 when he decided he could no longer effectively serve his clients long distance.

While in Spencer, Ia., Tom was active in many civic and fraternal organizations. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church for over 50 years where he served on many committees and boards, and also taught Sunday School. Tom was on the YMCA board long before the present Y was built. He and his son Tom were active in the Y Indian Guides and he and his daughter Katie participated in Indian Princesses. Tom served for many years on the Board of Directors of Everly State Bank. Near and dear to his heart were the years he spent as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Spencer Municipal Utilities. He also remembered fondly his years on the Clay County Fair Executive Committee and particularly the three years he spent as president. He was active in the Masonic Orders and the Spencer Area Shrine Club and he enjoyed participating in the Spencer ATV Corps as a charter member and was one of the Shrine Clowns for the Lakes Area Funsters. He was a member of the American Legion for over 50 years and was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Moose Lodge and the Eagles Lodge. While in Spencer, and later in Des Moines, he belonged to the Golden K Kiwanis Club.

After spending many years in Spencer, Tom and Marge moved to Deerfield, in Urbandale Ia., where Tom was active as a volunteer and served on various committees since 2005. While in Des Moines Tom and Marge attended the Plymouth Congregational Church and the Waukee United Methodist Church.

Tom is survived by Marge, his loving wife of nearly 60 years, their three children: Tom Warner Cornwall( Betsy), Katie Rohling (Kevin), and Mary Halquist (Kent); seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; his sister-in-law, Sally Cornwall; his cousin, Clare Wheeler; a second cousin, Jeff Christie; and several nieces.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Wilson Cornwall; his brother, Mabry; a nephew, Peter Cornwall; his wife's parents, Ethel and Milton Warner; a sister-in-law, Mary Kay RedmondWatson; and her husbands: Nook Redmond and Barrie Watson.

According to Tom's wishes he was cremated and a memorial service will be held at a later date at Spencer, Ia., with Warner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ruth Cornwall Student Loan Fund or the Warner Dialysis Center, both at the Spencer Regional Hospital, or the Deerfield Foundation at Deerfield Lifespace Community in Urbandale, IA at 13731 Hickman Rd., Urbandale, Iowa, 50323.