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Obituary: Theodore Cornell, Jr. was a Decorated WW2 Fighter Pilot

The Lake Forest resident's other accomplishments include a successful law career, Loyola Athletic Hall of Fame Member and receiving numerous awards for his service.

Theodore E. Cornell, Jr., WWII Veteran, of Lake Forest, IL and Stuart, FL passed away Saturday, November 3, 2012. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 51 years, Kathryn H. Cornell. Survivors include his sons Theodore E. Cornell, III of Evanston, IL, Edward H. (Nancy) Cornell of Deerfield, IL, and daughter Mary Catherine (Richard) Weber of Coconut Grove, FL. He was grandfather of Ted IV, William, John, Jane, Margaret, Thomas and Annie Cornell.

Holding numerous professional, military, civic and academic accomplishments, Mr. Cornell was first and foremost a family man who loved spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren and sharing colorful stories of growing up in Chicago and the interesting people he met throughout his career. Mr. Cornell was a graduate of Loyola Academy, where he played basketball and baseball and was a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame, and Loyola University where he received his Bachelor’s and Law degrees. He completed his undergraduate studies in three and one-half years and became an instructor in the sociology department of Loyola, and was elected to the American Catholic Sociological Society.

As an undergraduate he was elected to the Phi Gamma Mu and Alpha Kappa Delta and Delta Theta Phi Honor Societies and in his first year at Loyola Law School he received the Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Key (now Phi Beta Kappa), graduating with honors. During WWII, he was a member of the Flying Tigers and flew 99 combat missions over the hump in the China, Burma and India Theatre. Following completion of these missions he flew the hump with the famous Search and Rescue Unit. He received two distinguished Flying Crosses, two Air Medals, the Distinguished Unit Citation and the Medal of Freedom from the Republic of China in Taiwan.

Returning from service, Mr. Cornell was employed at a probation officer and assistant to judges Frank H. Bicek and Robert Jerome Dunne of the Circuit Court of Cook County. After entering law school, he was employed by the City National Bank and Trust Company where he was elected a trust officer and leaving in 1951 to practice law. After practicing law with the firms of D’Ancona & Pflaum, Wyatt, Riskind, and Ungaro, Sherwood and Grobe, he formed his own firm in Highland Park, IL with Allan I. Wolff, Jr. and Remo N. Picchietti. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Federal District Court of Illinois and the Court of Military Appeals. Active in Civic and Bar Association Activities, Mr. Cornell was a member of the Recreation Board of the City of Highland Park for 11 years, serving as president four different times and was a Park District Commissioner.

He represented the City of Highland Park as the President of the Highland Park Civic Association in presentation of their successful bid before the All-America Jury Award in Colorado Springs, CO as an All-America City. He was an active member of the Chicago Bar Association and was active in the Illinois State Bar Association, serving two terms as Chair of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He was a Charter Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation and a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council. He continued his legal activities with the Lake County Bar Association as Chairman of the Corporate, Real Estate and Probate Committees. He was President of the Lake County Bar Association in 1979.

Mr. Cornell was a member of Exmoor Country Club for more than 40 years and active in many activities including golf and curling. He served as attorney for the club during the 70’s and as secretary and member of the Board of Governors in 1974-75. Spending his winters in Florida, he was a member of the Ocean Club in Stuart, FL. He was a life member of the Hump Pilots Association, Distinguished Flying Cross Society and the China, Burma, India Veterans Association. A memorial mass will be held Monday, November 12, 2012 at 10 am at the Church of St. Mary, 175 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest, IL. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Franciscan Friars at “Marytown”, 1600 West Park Ave., Libertyville, IL 60048 or to the Church of St. Mary, 175 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045 or to the Marinest Mission, 119 Franklin Street, Dayton, OH 45402.

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