Larry Cornell

Date of Birth

Mar 29,1939

Date of Death

May 22,2018

Larry Cornell, age 79, of Elburn, passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love and support of his family, in the early morn-ing hours of Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Delnor Hospital, Geneva, IL.
He was born March 29, 1939, in Bertha, MN, to proud parents, Alvie and Esther (Nelson) Cornell. Larry grew up in Bertha and attended the local school. Very early on, he knew his life call-ing was to drive trucks. For many years, Larry delivered newspapers for the Minneapolis Star and hocked pop at the local high school games, with all the money going into savings. His parents owned a local grocery store, so Larry also spent time making deliveries and announcing new deals and pro-duce for the Sunshine Grocery. He graduated from Bertha-Hewitt High School with the class of 1957. The bonds he made during this time would last a lifetime. Even into his last days, he kept in touch with many of his classmates. He made his presence known in the band, playing the French Horn and also sang in the choir. As a young man, his dance moves always garnered attention but he only gave his heart and hand in marriage to three women: Nita, Donna and Karen.
Larry took all the money he saved and purchased his first semi-truck so he could continue his passion as a truck driver. That passion would last his whole life long until declining health reluctantly took him from the driver’s seat. Larry began his career with Raymond Brothers, and added Berger, and Blodgett in Minneapolis before moving his family to Elburn, IL, in 1966 to begin working for St. Charles Kitchens. He spent nineteen years there. Later, he worked for Stover Brothers Trucking, Nagel Siebert Trucking, as well as the Elburn Co-Op. While still driving in his “retired time”, Larry started Crown Lawn Care. In recent years, Larry became an independent fifth wheel hauler, making trips from manu-facturers in Indiana, to all parts of the country. Before he turned in his keys, Larry logged over a million miles and never listened to a minute of music; only news/talk radio was played in his cab. Larry could easily have been the first GPS as he knew how to get any and everywhere. His second profession was that of a weather man. Larry was quick to call everyone he knew with as many updates as was necessary, until each storm passed and he knew they were safe.
No conversation ever ended without multiple “okay’s” and a promise that you could call him at any hour because “time didn’t matter”. He had a faith that weathered many a storm, yet it grew more and more as he returned to church.
Larry was a member of the Teamsters Union, Brothers of America and volunteered many, many years at the Elburn Lions Club.
Larry lived his life, his way, period, end of sentence. He was a believer in the adage of “do as I say, not as I do” and lived with his heart on his sleeve. Larry was a firm believer that family has no boundaries and is bound not by blood but by love. Although he was quick to love, those close to him were aware of his strong opinions! He was the most loyal man you would ever meet, sometimes to a fault. He supported any cause that came his way with a donation and had a sleeve of rubber bracelets from various fundraisers for friends, family and strangers alike. As a child of the WWII era, nothing was wasted. Ever. Whether it was a lonely, broken tarp strap on the side of the road or truck bumpers and mud flaps, to everything in between, Larry would turn around or go the extra mile to save all he could.
Larry was a self-proclaimed Duct Tape King, using it often and generously when he did. He loved to fish, which may have come from his Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch ancestry. He cast his line anytime and anywhere he could, especially back in his home state of Minnesota. Many winters he travelled West to go snowmobiling in Yellowstone. Each trip was made in the company of great friends. Popcorn was a staple and was often not only a mainstay, but also the main course of many a meal, especially when watching football. Although he grew up a Viking, he converted to the Bears when he moved to Illinois. He also enjoyed the Chicago Cubs, particularly their World Series win. NASCAR and Jeff Gordon called to him like no other, leading him to every race he could attend which was often in Las Vegas. He stayed in his fifth wheel trailer at the center of the circle many times. Larry was a part of so many lives, the connections are limitless. He will be missed by countless friends and family across the country.
He is survived by two children: Bradley (Debra) Cornell and Elizabeth “Beth” (Curt) Meredith; one step-daughter, Shanna (J.R.) Brewer-Valdez; two step-sons, Steven (Lori) Brewer and Scott Brewer; four grandchildren: Jason (Jaclyn) Cornell and their children: Noah, Caleb, Liam and Graham; Chris (Jen) Cornell and their children: Landon and Logan; Angie (Eric) Hren and Madeline (Arturo) Martinez, Jr. and their children: Ricky, Priscilla and soon to join us Nathaniel; five step-grandchildren: D’Andre Quick, Charlie Valdez, III and Henna Valdez, Cheyann and Kelsey Brewer; one sister, Kathryn Pfeffer; one sister-in-law,
Diane Cornell; a host of nieces and nephews and friends from coast to coast.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Alvah and Esther Cornell; one brother, Alan “Corky” Cornell and a daughter in infancy, Theresa Jean Cornell.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. A funeral to celebrate his life will be held Wednesday, May 30th, also at the funeral home, at 11:30 a.m., with a time of visitation from 10:30-11:30 a.m. The Rev. Katherine Lawes will officiate with interment to follow at Blackberry Twp. Cemetery, Elburn.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Larry’s name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Larry Cornell Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may be forwarded to the same address, on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page or at

A funeral to celebrate his life will be Wednesday, May 30, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. at 11:30 a.m., with a time of visitation from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Rev. Katherine Lawes will officiate.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119.

Interment to follow at Blackberry Twp. Cemetery,

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