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David L. Cornwell, 67, died November 2, at his home in Annapolis, where he had lived with his wife for 10 years. He had battled stage four kidney cancer for 16 months.
He was born on June 14, 1945 in Paoli, Indiana to L. E. and Dolores Cornwell. He graduated from Park School in Indianapolis and attended Hillsdale College in Michigan, The American College of Monaco in Monte Carlo, and Indiana University. After college he worked in the family business, Cornwell Co. Inc.
He served in the Army
from 1966-1968 and was an
Operating Room Technician at the 71st Medivac Hospital in Pleiku, Vietnam.
He was the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1976) and to serve on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. He also served on the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation. He was instrumental in bringing the issue of smokestack emissions from high-sulfur coal electricity plants to the attention of Congress. The concerns addressed alternative energy applications, the effect of acid rain, and finding appropriate funding sources. He also introduced Sense of Congress resolutions on dolphin kills resulting from questionable fishing practices by Japanese tuna fishing boats. This legislation was the forerunner to later regulations that greatly changed the way international fleets harvest the ocean today.
Following Congress, he served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary at the US Department of Labor, International Labor Affairs Bureau where he was the liaison with several different Federal and international government factions and represented the United States and the DOL on foreign missions to the People's Republic of China, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Following his government service, he was a domestic and international consultant in the private sector. In later years he worked with the Fordham Brewery and the Rams Head company.
He was a member of the Capitol Hill Presbyterian church. He volunteered with community organizations including community theatre. He was taught golf by his father at age five and played in numerous charity tournaments. After retirement he played with a senior group at the Annapolis Golf Club. He remained a student of geo-political developments and events.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jane Bogardus Cornwell; daughter, Mary Walden; son, Benjamin Cornwell; and granddaughters Caitlyn and Emma.
A memorial service is planned at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, at the Unitarian Universal Church, 333 Dubois Rd., Annapolis.
Contributions may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 445 Defense Hwy., Annapolis, MD 21401.
Published in The Capital on Nov. 14, 2012