Jan Cornelia Obituary
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In Memory of

Jan Cornelia

January 21, 1941 - April 28, 2014
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Janis (Jan) Cornelia passed away on April 28, 2014 at the Kindred Hospital in Henderson NV. Jan was born In Endicott, WA, on January 21, 1941, the daughter of Ryne and Ella Schaal. She lived with her parents and older brother Gary in Seattle WA until moving back to Lind WA in early 1945. It was during this time that Ryne was tragically killed in an accident on the Lind homestead. Ella was pregnant with Jan’s younger brother Loren at the time. After the untimely loss of Ryne, Ella and the children moved into a small home in Ritzville WA, which her brother-in-law George Becker, had helped procure. Jan attended the Ritzville Grammar School until 1950. At that time her mother remarried and the family moved to Odessa WA. Jan entered Odessa High School in 1956. During this time her mother had two more children, Lois and Linda Iltz. Jan was a busy teenager during the late 1950s. She was a full time caretaker for the new family members, worked in the local drugstore and still managed to letter in tennis, play the clarinet in the band and be an active member of the church. Upon graduating from High School in 1959, Jan attended the Esther School of Beauty Culture in Spokane, WA. Upon graduation Jan worked in a local beauty salon. In March 1960 Jan met A2/C Thomas Cornelia, who was stationed at Geiger Field, an Air Force Base near Spokane. The two hit it off immediately and were married in Odessa on Oct 23, 1960. “We were young and wild in those early years.” Jan and Tom...
Janis (Jan) Cornelia passed away on April 28, 2014 at the Kindred Hospital in Henderson NV. Jan was born In Endicott, WA, on January 21, 1941, the daughter of Ryne and Ella Schaal. She lived with her parents and older brother Gary in Seattle WA until moving back to Lind WA in early 1945. It was during this time that Ryne was tragically killed in an accident on the Lind homestead. Ella was pregnant with Jan’s younger brother Loren at the time.

After the untimely loss of Ryne, Ella and the children moved into a small home in Ritzville WA, which her brother-in-law George Becker, had helped procure. Jan attended the Ritzville Grammar School until 1950. At that time her mother remarried and the family moved to Odessa WA. Jan entered Odessa High School in 1956. During this time her mother had two more children, Lois and Linda Iltz. Jan was a busy teenager during the late 1950s. She was a full time caretaker for the new family members, worked in the local drugstore and still managed to letter in tennis, play the clarinet in the band and be an active member of the church.

Upon graduating from High School in 1959, Jan attended the Esther School of Beauty Culture in Spokane, WA. Upon graduation Jan worked in a local beauty salon. In March 1960 Jan met A2/C Thomas Cornelia, who was stationed at Geiger Field, an Air Force Base near Spokane. The two hit it off immediately and were married in Odessa on Oct 23, 1960.

“We were young and wild in those early years.”

Jan and Tom lived in a Spokane apartment while he finished his Air Force commitment. Rather than reenlisting they decided Tom should apply to college. In May of 1962, they left Spokane and moved back to Tom’s parents in New Jersey. His application to Rutgers University was accepted and they were on cloud nine. Jan soon discovered she was pregnant and expecting in Feb 1963. Despite the cold weather Jan attended a school for computer keypunch operators and also worked part time at Newberrys Department Store in Hackettstown NJ. Tom made the 60 mile roundtrip daily to school in their 1956 Ford.

Their oldest son, Brett Thomas was born on Feb 20, 1963, in the same hospital where Tom was born in 1938. Later that summer, when their freshman year was over the new family moved in to Campus Housing, (WWII military billets). Wow, was that an experience!

Both Tom and Jan found jobs in New Brunswick and thank goodness Jan’s was more permanent than Tom’s. With Jan’s working full time and Tom picking up odd jobs on campus, they made it through to May 1966. GRADUATION, whoopee!!!!!!

Tom had decided after his sophomore year to join the ROTC Detachment, get an Air Force Commission, and come back on active duty as a 2Lt.

“That’s what we did and we never looked back. Oh, how great it was to be young and gutsy.”

On Aug 15 Tom and Jan went on active duty with the Air Force at Chanute Field, IL, and lived in Rantoul, IL while Tom attended Aircraft Maintenance Officer School. Prior to arrival at Chanute they found out Jan was pregnant and due in Jan 1967.

Jan was a homemaker and spent time with young Brett who by now was a very active young lad. Jan delivered on Jan 13, 1967 but something went wrong and the baby was stillborn. Christine Anne was interned in NJ. It was a very sad time for the Cornelia family.

However, the time spent at Chanute was still filled with positive moments and relationships. One of the lasting relationships was with the couple, Don and Kitty Schumacher, who became lifelong friends with Jan and Tom.

Upon completion of the course, the time at Chanute had come to an end. Tom and Jan were assigned to Luke AFB AZ, a training base for pilots going to Vietnam, where Tom was a flight line maintenance officer.

In April 1967 they moved to Glendale AZ and rented an apartment until they were able to purchase a home. Jan loved the hot climate and spent many afternoons at the pool with Brett. Jan and Tom loved Arizona, especially after their second son, Bradley David, was born in April 1968. They were especially fond of life in the desert because so many of their friends and relatives were able to visit.

In the fall of 1969, Tom received orders for Vietnam with a departure date in January 1970. This was difficult for both of Jan and Tom to contend with. Jan and the boys spent part of the summer visiting her mother. Fortunately, Tom only had to spend 10 months in Vietnam and left early to assist in the delivery and recovery of recon aircraft coming back to the states.

Tom returned from Vietnam in Nov 1970. Jan had sold their home in Glendale and they were ready for the next transfer. Tom had received a career broadening position as a Missile Combat Crew Commander in SAC.
The family would be moving to Rapid City SD and Ellsworth AFB. They lived in base housing, traveled through the Black Hills, The Badlands and of course Wall Drug.

Jan had a Cub Scout Den with Brett being her number one Cubby. The boys had many friends and enjoyed those years, despite the numerous fishing trips. An additional member came along at this time; Shasta part poodle and part schnauzer joined the family.

In 1975, the family was on the move again, with Great Falls MT, to be their next home. Malmstrom AFB was another SAC Missile Wing installation. Jan and Tom had a home built over looking the city. It is a beautiful part of Montana and we had many good times there. Jan went to work for Montana Medicaid when Bradley started Middle School. She worked from 6 a.m.-12 p.m., and got home before the school bus arrived. She also had to contend with many winter days of snow and ice. However, she was a tireless employee and received many accolades for her service.

Jan and Tom had always talked about living in California and when Brett graduated from high school in 1981, they made their final military move to Vandenberg AFB, near Santa Maria and Lompoc CA.

Jan and Tom agreed that he would retire from the Air Force as soon as he was eligible; January 1, 1983.

A big change in their lives occurred in Oct 1981, when Brett enlisted in the Navy. It was very hard on Jan to see her “Baby Boy” leave home on those huge ships.

Bradley, by that time, was in high school and graduated in 1986. Jan and Tom loved the Central Coast and enjoyed entertaining friends and family. They would go to Yankee games in Anaheim, Disneyland, and Universal Studios and just hang out in Santa Barbara.

Brett was discharged from the Navy in 1985 and got a job at VAFB. He met Kim Robb from Lompoc, CA and they were married in1988. Brett later would go to work for the Air Force at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert of California. Bradley married in 1990 and his first son Bradley II was born in 1991. Two more boys Ryan and Kevin were born in1993 and 1994 respectively. Bradley and family moved from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas in 1998. Jan loved her grandsons and looked forward to seeing them as often as she could.

In 1983, upon retiring from the Air Force, Tom was hired by Martin Marietta to work in their ICBM programs. He was employed with them until July 1994. When his job was being eliminated they decided to take early retirement and move to the Las Vegas, NV area. They began to make trips looking for a new home, finally settling in Henderson.

Tom had a few part time jobs but mainly they enjoyed retirement. They loved to travel, taking a trip to Australia, visiting Jan’s family in Washington, and going to New York and Pennsylvania to visit Tom’s family.

During this time, Jan and Tom also decided to welcome a new member to the family, adopting a poodle mix lap dog named Brodie. When Jan and Tom spent their time at home, Jan and Brodie were inseparable. Although Jan will be missed by many, Brodie will definitely miss her the most.

“Jan was such a giving lady and loved by all who knew her. I will miss her with all my heart. Good Bye my love. We will be together again. All my love – Tom”

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"Janis will be remembered for her wonderful smile and for the great love she had for Tom. She always had a hug for the nurses at Comprehensive Cancer Center..." Vikki Jacobs (Boulder City, NV)

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