William Cornish, Devoted Church Man, Dies at 76

In Memoriam

by: AFRO Staff
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William Joseph Cornish
William Joseph Cornish

William Joseph Cornish died unexpectedly at the age of 76 on March 5 in Cambridge, Md.

Cornish was born in 1940 to Naomi Stanley and Joseph Ulysses Cornish.  Third of four siblings, Cornish was reared by Naomi and Carroll Cooper. He was educated in Maryland’s Dorchester County Public Schools, graduating in 1958 from Maces Lane High School.

Always industrious, William was a hard worker, for his family and friends, at work, and for his church. As a young man, he was protective of his mother, escorting her, with his brother, to work at the crab house during the early morning hours. He married in the early 1960s and his daughters – Talibah Chikwendu and Stephanie Cornish – were the result of that union. Both daughters currently work for the AFRO.

William worked at a variety of places during his life, but was employed the longest at the Cambridge Municipal Utilities Commission. His reputation there was stellar, with many citing his work ethic as “anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.”

William remarried Edith Murray-Cornish in February 1995, adding her son, Terrance Murray, to his children. They enjoyed each other’s company immensely, as well as the company of their family and good friends, their grandchildren, traveling, fine foods, and documenting their travels and friends through pictures.

For years, he served as janitor and grounds keeper at Waugh Chapel UMC in Cambridge, Md. He also assisted with the care of the church cemetery on High Street. As a long-term member of Waugh, he served on the trustees, on the finance committee, as church treasurer, on the Angelic and Men’s choirs and as an usher. He was always willing to serve as asked, even when it made him a little nervous.

His death is mourned by his brother C. Wendell Cornish; children, Talibah Chikwendu, Stephanie Cornish, and Terrance (Keida) Murray; six grandchildren; two great grandchildren and his extended family. In addition to his parents, his wife Edith Murray-Cornish, siblings Estelle Sampson and Elizabeth Brannock, and brother- and sister-in-law William and Janice Lake preceded him in death.

The Viewing will be held on March 10, 2017 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
at Henry Funeral Home, 510 Washington St., Cambridge, Md. 21613

The Funeral will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 – 10 a.m.
at Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church, 425 High Street, Cambridge, Md., 21613

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