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Memorial Service

Kaysville 7th Ward
Saturday April 16th, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm

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Graveside Service

Brigham City Cemetery
Saturday April 16th, 2022

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Russell K Cornelius

Russell K. Cornelius peacefully and happily graduated from this life on April 10, 2022, to be reunited with some of his cherished family, whom he deeply missed. Russell was born on October 25, 1943, in Reno, Nevada. He grew up in Virgin, Utah and Antioch, California. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1964 and spent (as he was fond of saying) 20 years, 3 months, and 20 days serving his country. He married the love of his life, Kathleen Owen, in 1965. Later in life, he wrote, “my life really began the day I met Kathy.” They spent a two-year honeymoon in England (courtesy of the US Air Force), then moved to Florida, Texas, California, Mississippi, Virginia, and Utah over the next 25 years. Along the way, they adopted Jennifer Lee, Christopher Owen, and Jane Marie; Amanda Ruth showed up at the end as a happy unexpected surprise addition.  The family moved to Utah after Russ retired from the Air Force to keep the promise he made to Kathy to bring her home closer to family. 

Russ had a brilliant mind and many passions throughout his life. He learned computer programming in the Air Force and worked in that field for the rest of his career. He was always willing to help friends and neighbors experiencing computer problems-- he said it made him feel popular. He knew hundreds of jokes and loved making people laugh. His love for art began as a young child, and over the years he became proficient at drawing, photography, pottery, stained glass, calligraphy, and watercolor, to name just a few. He believed art was a skill, not a talent, and the most important thing an artist could do was practice. Russ never gave up when he wanted to get better at something. He was kicked out of the school choir in eighth grade due to his off-key singing. But he loved music of all kinds and sang along happily in church and anywhere else he could. By the end of his life, he wasn’t exactly Sinatra, but he could just about carry a tune in a bucket.  Russ also loved cars of any kind, especially classic cars. He made some of the best, longest-lasting friendships of his life while bonding over cars. He owned, restored, and sold dozens of cars over the years and especially loved convertibles. He always jumped at the opportunity to attend a car show or cruise-in. He was a lifelong Raider fan.

Russ was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and served in a variety of callings in the church including Bishop, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and Primary teacher. He loved learning and teaching and would spend hours preparing his lessons. He thoroughly enjoyed studying, pondering, and writing about gospel topics, especially those centered on the life, mission, and love of Jesus Christ. He shared his thoughts on his blog: russellsruminations.blogspot.com.

Russ was preceded in death by his sweetheart Kathleen and his beloved parents Russell B. and Ruth. He is survived by his children Jennifer (Mark) Anderson, Chris (Millie) Cornelius, Marie (Chris Wilson) Cozby, and Amanda Cornelius. Some of his greatest joy came in spending time with his ten grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.

Russell’s memorial will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2022 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 331 S 50 W, in Kaysville,  at 11 am. All are welcome to visit with Russ’s family and friends at 10 am prior to the service.  Graveside Service will be held at 2:30 pm with Military Honors and Dedication of the Grave at the Brigham City Cemetery, 300 E 300 S, Brigham City, Utah. Interment will take place at Brigham City Cemetery at a later date. 

 In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. John's Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, where one of Russ’s grandchildren recieves ongoing care: https://giving.hshs.org/sjs/Donate.

Those unable to attend in person are invited to watch remotely through the following link:  https://zoom.us/j/99337925266

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russell Cornelius, please visit our flower store.


Condolences! Kathy will always be a most wonderful sweet lady to Jessie. It was a choice moment of time when she visited Jessie at our house on 93 West. Russ had a special personality. He also showed strong will power. May both of them rejoice in their reunion now after the 1st resurrection!

Jessie Dawn & Tracy G. TAYLOR Apr 16 2022 1:46 PM

I'm sorry I can't be there but I will be celebrating you and the life you lived. You were and always will be my hero. Everything I know about being loving, giving, kind a good parent was learned by the wonderful examples you and mom gave us. Give her a hug from me and Daxy as I know you are together again.

Marie Cozby Apr 16 2022 12:31 PM

So many fond memories of Russ. He taught me how to drive a car at Beale AFB. California where he an my sister Kathleen were stationed. He did have hundreds 💯 of jokes but they really weren't that funny. The best host ever for family dinners and an awesome cook. My youngest son passed in April 2010 and Russ completed two pencil/charcoal head to shoulder sketches in just 3 days from photos to have for services for
Josh 🧡 My thoughts and prayers are with the Cornelius Family 4/16/2022

Bill Owen Apr 16 2022 2:03 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Russell Cornelius

Bill Owen Apr 16 2022 1:48 AM

We've never had neighbors & friends like Russ & Kathy & Amanda! The most giving, loving, kind & empathetic people that we've ever known. Russ, you will be missed by our family greatly. We have many wonderful memories of you! See you on the flip side friend! All our love, Kevin & Jeanne Dahl and Brittany & Austin too!

JEANNE DAHL Apr 16 2022 1:48 AM

I have made numerous trips to Utah over the last 30 yrs to visit family and friends. I always knew there would be a bed and more often then not a car at my disposal. You and my sister Kathleen always had a generous heart. You will be missed. ❤

Tom Owen Apr 16 2022 12:54 AM

Great, great friend, even though you forgot my first name one time, I'll always remember yours! :-)

Russ Wiley Apr 15 2022 11:31 PM

So sad to see you go but I know how wonderful the reunion in Heaven was. You are all in my thoughts and prayers...Love you all!

Katie Shea-Hodges Apr 14 2022 4:59 PM