Richard Cornell ’61 died on July 22, 2023, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
(The following was provided by the Dee Funeral Home on July 22, 2023)
Dr. Richard Cornell, 83, of Gloucester, MA (previously Carlisle, Concord, Cambridge, South Dartmouth, and Lunenburg MA; and originally New Bedford, MA), died of pancreatic cancer on July 22, 2023.
Richard was born March 14, 1940. He graduated from Durfee High School, Bowdoin College, and Harvard Medical School. As a physician and researcher, his career included stints at the National Institute of Health, Walter Reed Hospital, Buffalo General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Burbank Hospital. Richard was a gastroenterologist and general family practitioner in Fitchburg, MA for the first half of his career. He loved treating multiple generations of families and always was the kind soul they turned to in times of need. His later career centered on serving the managed care and biopharmaceutical industries, at U.S. Health Care, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and finally Genzyme Corporation.
Richard was passionate about travel, languages, books, opera, classical music, art, and antiquities. He served on the boards of Historic New England (then SPNEA) and Fruitlands Museums.
He is remembered by his family, friends, and colleagues for his kindness and gregarious humor, his unflagging dedication to taking care of everyone around him, and for reliably being the smartest (and funniest) person in the room. He was “a very special man, and always an extraordinary diagnostician, no matter what the issue was,” remembers Jerry Slavet, a friend since their college days. As his book club companion Parkman Howe put it, “Richard was so far ahead of the rest of us, yet I will always remember him for reaching back to give us a helping hand, like the fastest climber on the steep trail.”
Beyond his many professional accomplishments, Richard’s most profound and fulfilling dedication was in building a loving family. He was a devoted and doting spouse, father, father-in-law, and most of all, grandfather, who found tremendous joy in supporting and entertaining his family and friends.
Predeceased by Bayla Cornell, his wife of fifty-seven years, Richard is survived by his four children Bill, Marci (Jonathan Feist), Dan (Eunyoung Lee), and Libby (Brian Carroll); his grandchildren Merlin and Forrest Feist, and a tremendous number of dear family, friends and colleagues.