William Ainsworth Cornell, Jr., Esq. 69, of Wormleysburg, PA died on Dec 29, 2021 from cardiac arrest.
He was the son of late William Ainsworth Cornell, Sr. and Laura Weigle Cornell.
He is survived by his fiancée, true love and soul mate, Catherine Bene, M.D., of York. They planned to wed in the fall. He also is survived by his sister, Beth L. Cornell of Wormleysburg.
Bill graduated from Cedar Cliff High School, Class of 1970; the University of Pittsburgh, Class of 1974, with a B.A. and then Dickinson School of Law, Class of 1982 with a J.D. He was admitted to the PA bar in 1982 and resided in Wormelysburg.
Born in New Castle, he was raised in Edinboro where he swam across Lake Edinboro at the age of 12 on the 4th of July. His passion for waterways continued into adulthood as he sailed, boated and skied on the Susquehanna River. He shared the importance of our waters with others and joined the board of the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat on which he served for over 25 years. He twice was elected Chairman of the Board and created several of its programs. He founded the Susquehanna River School that used the Pride as its floating classroom, offering free workshops that were often the Harrisburg children’s only opportunity to ride on a boat even though they lived near the river. Bill enthusiastically taught them about history and nature, and the importance of good stewardship of our waterways. He developed the popular “Pirates on the Pride” events and the “SOS” (Save Our Susquehanna) program that engaged all ages.
He was a gourmet cook and shared his chef creations with others in the form of dinners, fund raising events and famous parties. “Wild Bill’s Chili”, famous for “real chili ain’t got no stinkin beans”, won the first-place award in a national chili contest.
Bill enjoyed politics as a lobbyist, strategist and consultant. He was a field representative for the PA State Republican Party, Chief of Staff for Congressman Bill Goodling, and aide to Senator John Heinz. He was a partner in the Law firm of Hamberger and Cornell and lobbied in both Washington, DC and Harrisburg. Bill took great pride in drafting and analyzing legislation.
A visitation will be held at 2 pm on Friday, January 7, 2022, at Parthemore Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 1303 Bridge Street, New Cumberland until the Memorial Service and Celebration of Life begins at 3 PM. Friends and family are invited to attend and share their favorite stories about Bill.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are requested to River School of the Pride of Susquehanna, 107 North Front Street, Suite 110, Harrisburg, PA 17101 (https://www.facebook.com/The-Susquehanna-River-School-229512963738180/?ref=page_internal). Phone (717) 234 – 6500. For more information or to send messages of condolence, please visit www.parthemore.com.