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Richard J. "Dick" Cornell

January 28, 1932 September 26, 2019
Richard  J. "Dick" Cornell
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Obituary for Richard J. "Dick" Cornell

Richard J. “Dick” Cornell, age 87, passed away peacefully early Thursday morning September 26, 2019 at his apartment at Cedar Bay Assisted Living in Elkhart Lake, WI surrounded by family. He was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on January 28, 1932 to Namesion and Lillian (Daul) Cornell. He attended Central Catholic High School, Marquette University and St. Norbert College. He married Mary Vogels in 1953. . He is survived by his wife Joan of San Diego, CA, first wife, Mary (Vogels) Cornell of Tucson, AZ and six children: Cathy (Paul Knitter) Cornell of Madison, WI, Michael (Brenda) Cornell of Hartland, WI, Peter (Wonda) Cornell of Zumbrota, MN, Anne Marshall (friend Mark Kirby) of Three Lakes, WI, Susan (Douglas) Cornell De Vries of Two Rivers, WI, and Jon Cornell of Savage, MN. He is also survived by his wife Joan Brisbin, a brother Tom (Sarah) Cornell, 15 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Judy Dodson and Patricia Syverud.

After two years as an Armored Officer, Dick was the Ford dealer in Plymouth, WI for over 35 years. He retired in 1991 to fish, travel and golf. Dick made over 60 fishing trips to Canada. In his early retirement he lived on a golf course in Tucson, had his own golf cart and played golf almost daily. Some of his favorite memories included having 34 fishing rods hanging in his basement, walking the Great Wall of China, visiting the Taj Mahal, and going to East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie. Dick won several Ford dealer trips to Hawaii, Europe and several of the Caribbean islands, including cruises and three trips to St. Maarten. He also enjoyed traveling to Alaska.

When Dick joined his father at Cornell Motors in 1956, he was one of only eight employees. When he sold the business in 1991, there were 35 ‘good folks.’ Dick was often heard saying “these good, well-trained people made me look good. They made Cornell Motors a great place to work.”

Dick spent over 20 years in the active Army and Wisconsin Army National Guard, retiring as a Major. He was the Guard Commanding Officer in Plymouth in 1963 and 1964. One highlight was serving as the Company Commander of a tank company in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in 1956 and of an Infantry Unit in 1961 and 1962 in Ft. Lewis, Washington. Dick was proud to be a Guardsman in the 32nd Red Arrow Division.

A big part of Dick’s life was being an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He gave many talks to classes at Plymouth High School. He started an AA group in Sun City Vistoso, Arizona. On a trip to Israel, he organized an AA meeting at the Jerusalem Marriott.

Dick served 20 years on a Congressional Commission to interview and recommend candidates to West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy and King’s Point (Merchant Marine).

Dick’s many business and civic functions included: Meals on Wheels delivery, serving on his church council (two terms), being Chairman of Lakeland College Board of Associates, Director of Sheboygan County Red Cross, Association of Commerce Director and past President, Chairman of Wisconsin Ford Dealer Advertising Committee, Co-Chairman of the new Plymouth Library Fund project, new ambulance fundraising campaign Chairman, Director of Wisconsin Auto/Truck Dealer Association, and Chairman of the first Thanksgiving dinner put on by the Salvation Army.

Dick was a big Packer fan. He saw his first game in Green Bay when he was six years old and had season tickets for over 40 years. One of the biggest thrills in his life was riding an elephant on Mill Street in Plymouth as Centennial Chairman in 1976. He also rode a camel while in Israel. A great memory was lying next to the boom operator while watching them refuel jets for the KC 135 (Boeing 707) of the Wisconsin Air Guard, flying from Washington, DC to Milwaukee.

Mass of Christian burial will take place on Tuesday afternoon, (October 1, 2019) at 1 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Plymouth, WI. Father Philip Reifenberg will officiate and burial will be in the Parish Cemetery.

Visitation will take place at Suchon Funeral Home in Plymouth, WI from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, (September 30, 2019) and at the CHURCH on Tuesday from 12 noon until the time of Mass. A luncheon will follow.

The Ladewig-Zinkgraf American Legion Post 243 in Plymouth will conduct Military Rites following the Mass at the Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial funds are being established in Dick’s name for Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County, Cedar Bay Assisted Living in Elkhart Lake, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, and Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice Center in Sheboygan Falls.

The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit www.suchonfh.com.

The family would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff at Cedar Bay Assisted Living and Sharon S. Richardson Hospice for the loving care and support provided to Dick and the family during this difficult time.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

30

Sep

4:00 PM 9/30/2019 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 9/30/2019 7:00:00 PM
Suchon Funeral Home

1317 State Road 67
Plymouth, WI 53073

Suchon Funeral Home
1317 State Road 67 Plymouth 53073 WI
United States

Visitation

Tuesday

1

Oct

12:00 PM 10/1/2019 12:00:00 PM - 1:00 PM 10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

115 Plymouth St.
Plymouth, WI 53073

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
115 Plymouth St. Plymouth 53073 WI
United States

Service

Tuesday

1

Oct

1:00 PM 10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

115 Plymouth St.
Plymouth, WI 53073

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
115 Plymouth St. Plymouth 53073 WI
United States
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