Date of Birth
Date of Death
Jerry Cornell, age 85, of Elburn, formerly of St. Charles, passed away surrounded by the love and prayers of his family in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 8, 2015. Now free to claim the promise of his Savior, Jerry is now at rest in Heaven.He was born June 3, 1929, in Elgin, IL, the son of Isaac Jerome and Katherine Bernice (Johnsen) Cornell. His early years began in St. Charles where he attended local schools. His family moved to Wasco in 1941 and then on to St. Charles two years later where he graduated from St. Charles High School with the class of 1947. Before he left the halls of his alma mater behind, he made sure to leave his mark by becoming back to back State Champion playing the French Horn in 1946 and 1947. Jerry went on to attend the Great Lakes Bible Institute in Zion, IL, before he heard the call of his country. He entered the United States Army on January 13, 1951and was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri. Jerry never forgot his roots or his faith while in the army; in fact it became more steadfast. He was active in the chaplaincy program early on and along with five others, began Soldiers For Christ, a gospel team that sang and preached to all the recruits, then numbering over 36,000. In October of that same year, Soldiers For Christ alongside the Chaplain, began a Sunday, then later an additional Wednesday night church service. Jerry was so instrumental, that when it came time to go overseas with his unit, the Chaplain requested his presence in the states and to continue the ministry he had helped begin. Jerry did just that and added Public Relations to his resume, visiting several communities and forts throughout the country including an Assemblies of God Radio Revival Time show that taped in Springfield. Their reach was so great, they even closed down the post theater to hold services and reportedly helped over 200 men come to the Lord-per service!He may have championed his Lord and Savior while in the Army, but after his honorable discharge in January of 1953, he championed the heart of Lucille Cindy McConnaughay when they were united in marriage on April 18, 1953. They made homes in St. Charles and Wasco before moving to Elburn in 1985, but each stop marked a new place to gather and sing, filling each home with love and memories that will never be forgotten.Jerry worked for the telephone company for several years before opening St. Charles Office Supply. Thirteen years later, he began to work for Ced Springs before life brought him to another fork in the road. In 1980, Jerry’s faith and ministry was noticed by Global Missions who wanted him to become a traveling Deacon. Much of his work lied in setting up church camps, training, troubleshooting, and counseling with leadership and church members. His travels, always with Cindy by his side, brought him all over the country, Canada and even overseas. His schedule and destinations varied, but he could count on 20-30 weeks of traveling every year for the next twenty years! In 2003, his trips decreased in number but involvement did not. Jerry was announced as a board member of Global Missions International in July of 2003. Jerry retired in 2006, but the clock never stopped on his service. He has driven, flown, and worked several average life-times. Wherever he was, waking or sleeping, Jerry was thinking, praying, consulting, talking on the phone and doing something to the further the cause of Christ. Jerry was an active member for many years on the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and the St. Charles Rotary Club where he served as president and district officer. He was a ten year member of Play Makers and the Elburn American Legion. Jerry’s life was devoted to his ministry and his community. His breadth of knowledge and ability to multitask awed many people. He seemed to make friends at every turn and in every walk of life and had the unique ability to bring about a wide range of emotion from friends and foes alike. No matter how you met Jerry Cornell, you were never going to forget him. His light and salvation may have come from the Lord, but everything else came with his wife Cindy. A more loving and supportive wife you will never find, and Jerry was devoted to her like no other. He will be missed not only for his larger than life persona, but for the larger than life memories he made along the way. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Cindy Cornell;Two children:Carol Cornell and Phil (Mary) Cornell;Five grandchildren:Neil (Sarah Solzak) Turecek,Chris (Alexi Runions) Turecek, Philip (Amber Leonard) Cornell II, Jackie Cornell and Nicole Cornell;Four great-grandchildren: Katy Turecek, Lane Cornell, Abbi Cornell and Journee Cornell;Two siblings: Martha (Ronald) Sanders and Lloyd Cornell;One sister-in-law, Ruth Cornell;An army of nieces and nephews and a family of friends. He is preceded by his parents, Isaac and Katherine Cornell; four siblings: Gilbert Cornell, Faith Wilkerson, David Cornell and Theodore Cornell and one grandson, Nathaniel Cornell. Visitation will be on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, from 2-5 p.m. A funeral service will be at 10:30, with a time of visitation from 9:30-10:15 a.m., on Monday, January 12, also at the funeral home. Private family burial will follow cremation at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Jerry’s name. Checks may be made to the Jerry Cornell Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also forwarded to the same address or on www.conleycare.com.
Visitation will be on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, from 2-5 p.m. A funeral service will be at 10:30, with a time of visitation from 9:30-10:15 a.m., on Monday, January 12, also at the funeral home.
Private family burial will follow cremation at a later date.