Darrell James (“Jim”) Cornell, age 78, passed away on Saturday, October 27 in Lone Tree, CO. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years Helen Sue Cornell, son Brian (wife Jamie), two grandchildren (Delaney and Kurtis) and brothers-in-law Charles Mattingly and John Gilbert. He is preceded in death by his parents, Darrell and Sarah Cornell, oldest son Bruce, sister-in-law Jeanna Gilbert and brother-in-law William (“Bill”) Mattingly.
Jim was born on June 16, 1940 in Sterling, CO and graduated from Sterling High School. After a brief stint at The University of Colorado, he held a warehouse position with Martin Marietta in Denver before being drafted by the U.S. Army and serving as a tuba player in the 24th Division Band. Shortly before deployment to Germany, Jim met the future love of his life, Sue, who was a student at Stephens College in Columbia, MO. His persistent letter-writing during deployment paid off, as Jim and Sue were married in Estancia, NM on June 19, 1966 and settled in the Denver area to raise a family. Upon honorable discharge Jim resumed his employment with Martin Marietta, where over the course of a 40-year career he rose from a stocking position to Director of Procurement and had the opportunity to work on several large-scale aerospace programs.
Jim was an incredibly loyal and dedicated family man who loved coaching and supporting his sons Bruce and Brian, attending Broncos games as a season ticket holder for over 50 years, playing poker at the Elks Club and assisting friends and family whenever there was a project around he could help with. The most memorable project involved partnering with his brother-in-law Bill every weekend over the course of two years in the construction of a family cabin in Bailey, CO.
In retirement Jim enjoyed playing the tuba with the VFW Band, Highlands Ranch Concert Band and St. Andrew Methodist Church Orchestra. Jim and Sue partnered in international travel, competitive bridge outings and volunteer work at a downtown soup kitchen. “Big Jim” was a truly unique individual with a big heart who deeply enriched the lives of those around him.
An open memorial service and reception will be held on Saturday, November 17th at 11:00 A.M. at St. Andrew Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch. The family has designated the following charities for memorial contributions:
Food for Thought Denver
-This is an organization that strives to eliminate weekend hunger for children in the Denver area
St. Andrew United Methodist Church- Volunteer Outreach Program
-Jim was a member of St. Andrew for over 30 years and active with various volunteer outreach and musical programs