Charles Martin Cornwell, age 66, ran a courageous race against a rare cancer, dying on Monday, October 13, 2014. He lost the race, but gained his crown of glory with our heavenly Father. His courage remains an inspiration to his wife, children, family and friends.
Charlie was born October 15, 1947 in Batavia, New York, to Charles Webber Cornwell and Katherine Martin. He graduated from Notre Dame High School, Batavia, New York; Class of 1965. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He received a BBA from the University of Texas and his MBA from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, in 1980. He was a member of the Harlingen Country Club and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Charlie’s military tour ended in Fort Hood, Texas. Friendships which began in the military remained lifelong, and some now are three of his honorary pallbearers: Lorin, Robin and Harold. Charlie would remain in Texas. The young man from the northern border met a young woman of the southern border. A blind date in San Antonio, 1976, began a commitment of enduring love. Charlie and Margie moved to Harlingen, Texas, in 1991 to continue her career in medicine as a staff pathologist at Valley Baptist Medical Center. Charlie was active in his children’s sports participation, often being a coach for the baseball and soccer teams of his two sons. He was ever the constant father for his daughter as she attended St. Anthony’s School, being well known to the small group of students who progressed together from kindergarten to final eighth-grade graduation, Class of 2011.
In this race against cancer many gracious people of our community touched his life. Not all can be named, but his family thanks all of the staff, doctors, nurses, and technicians of Valley Baptist Medical Center, Treasure Hills Imaging Center, and Valley Cancer Associates. Special thanks are extended to his oncologist Dr. Todd Shenkenberg and the interventional radiologists, and Dr. Saenz and Dr. Velarde and their assisting staff of special procedures. God bless you all.
Charlie had a gift of wit and brought many smiles and laughter to any conversation. He has been described by those who loved him as being caring, kind, polite, and a true gentlemen. He gave testimony of his love of God and country in both words and actions. He was an avid golfer, and enjoyed the camaraderie of the annual tournaments of HCC, participating in Que Paso and Life Begins at 40.
Charlie is survived by his wife, Dr. Margie Wagner Cornwell of Harlingen, Texas; sons, Charles Wagner (Theresa) Cornwell of Houston, Texas, and William Martin (Kayla) Cornwell of Houston, Texas; and daughter, Laura Katherine Cornwell of Harlingen, Texas; sisters, Catherine Cole of Harlingen, Texas, and Margaret Patterson (Dave) of Oakfield, NY; brother, Peter Cornwell (Elizabeth) of Wimberley, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles W. and Katherine M. Cornwell and sister, Mary Ann Cornwell Delplato (Michael) of Batavia, NY.
Visitation hours will be held from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with family members present beginning at 5:30 PM, and with a Rosary being recited at 7:00 PM, Thursday, October 16, 2014 at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.
Funeral Mass will be held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Harlingen, Texas, 2:00 PM, Friday, October 17, 2014 with burial following at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery in McCook, Texas.
Pallbearers will be Houston Van Ness, Garrett Wagner, Christopher Cornwell, Jared Forbus, Jeffrey Forbus, Leonard Baggett Jr., Michael Longoria and Jonathan Brandes.
Honorary pallbearers are Joseph DiLaura (his lifelong friend from Batavia, NY), Robin McGuin, Harold Inman, Lorin Pankratz, Wayne Farber, and Buck Turk (Coach).
In lieu of flowers, he and his family would be honored by donations to Saint Anthony School, Texas Right to Life, Aid to the Church in Need, Wounded Warriors Foundation or to any charity of choice.
You are invited to sign the guestbook or share of memory at www.buckashcraft.com.
Arrangements are with Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.