Jim "Jim" Cornell

Delmar –Roy James "Jim" Cornell

Jim Cornell, 82, passed away peacefully on July 11, 2022, at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Jim was born November 4, 1939, in Ashland, NY on the kitchen table, because his mother couldn’t get to the hospital in Windham on time!

Jim attended grade school at Windham Ashland Jewett Central School (WAJ) and often spoke of his wonderful childhood in Ashland catching frogs and swimming in the creek.

Jim spent his high school years in Averill Park, where he played basketball, baseball and football.  He graduated from Averill Park Central High School in 1957.  He was President of Student Council, a member of the “85 Club”, and King of “Winter Festival”.

While a student at Siena College in 1960, Jim met his future wife, Janet (Jan), at a Protestant Young Adult Group (PYA) meeting at the former Calvary Methodist Church in Albany.  After each PYA meeting, the girls would do the dishes in the kitchen, while the boys stood around “checking out” the new girls.  Jim apparently noticed Jan but she didn’t remember him at all!  It wasn’t until they were both at a PYA swim party that they connected and Jan said to herself, “What a cute guy!”  Jim and Jan got engaged on Valentine’s Day in 1962 and were married June 23, 1962.

After graduating from Siena College in 1963, Jim took a job as a chemist at the NY State Police Laboratory in Colonie.  The job was certainly interesting but required traveling at night to Town Courts to testify. 

In 1968 Jim started work with the New York State Department of Civil Service.  During his 31 years there, he made many friends, joined the Civil Service Golf League, and organized the “Holiday Chorus”, which performed every December in the Lobby of Building 1 on the State Campus.

After retiring in 1999, Jim continued to play golf with his friends from Civil Service and pursued his “true love” reading and discussing literature.  He led a Great Books Discussion Group at the Bethlehem Public Library for many years and always looked forward to the monthly meetings. 

Jim loved birds and could be found even on below zero degree winter days out in the yard filling his feeders and changing the water in his heated birdbath.  He loved going to Wildbird Junction in Delmar, where he could purchase each bird’s favorite food. 

Jim also enjoyed all types of music and watching movies on TCM. 

Over the years, Jim and Jan enjoyed doing many things together: Canoeing at Moreau Lake State Park, cross-country skiing, roller skating, biking Rail Trails in NY State, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, and picnics, Halloween parties, and Progressive Dinners with their “long-time” friends from PYA.

Jim is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet, their son, Tim, and the family’s loving kitties, Allegra and Noire.  In addition to his parents, Warren Cornell and Doris Winchell, Jim is predeceased by his brother, Don, and daughter, Karen.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family on Monday, July 18, from 11a.m. to 12:00p.m. at the Delmar Reformed Church, 386 Delaware Avenue, Delmar.  Jim’s funeral will follow at Noon with interment in Bethlehem Cemetery immediately after the service.  The family asks that masks are worn while in the church. 

The family wishes to thank the Delmar-Bethlehem EMS and the Doctors and Nurses in the Emergency Room and ICU at St. Peter’s Hospital for their wonderful care and kindness.

Donations in memory of Jim can be made to Food Pantries for the Capital District, P.O. Box 12546, Albany, NY 12212-2546.