Karen Kennedy Cornell (1958 - 2019)

  • "What a wonderful lady! She was always smiling and had a..."
    - Anna Rentschler
  • "'Lovingly effervescent' is probably the best way to..."
    - Lee Beachy
  • "I had the pleasure of working alongside Karen for many..."
    - Lisa Dunham
Service Information
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home
164 Pleasant Street
Laconia, NH
Calling hours
Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home
164 Pleasant Street
Laconia, NH 03246
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Karen (nee Kennedy) Cornell arrived in the world Wednesday the 9th of April, 1958, on Staten Island, New York City, NY. She left this life peacefully but far too soon, aged 61, Tuesday morning the 27th of August, 2019, at home in Tilton, NH, surrounded by friends and family after a long courageous battle with brain cancer.

She graduated from Oyster River High School, Durham, NH, class of '76; and recently, Babson College. In 1977 she married Lloyd (Chuck) Cornell. They spent 42 years together building a life for themselves, brick by brick, welcoming two children into the world: a son Lloyd "Chas" Cornell II, and a daughter, Brittani Cornell. Karen took tremendous pride in being a mother, volunteering at the childrens' elementary schools, Scouting programs, and later Bishop Brady High School.

A self-made and self-taught woman, her career in banking spanned three decades, rising from teller's window at Village Bank, up to officership and management as Vice President of Compliance at Laconia Savings Bank. She was integral in their transition to Bank of New Hampshire, where she became Vice President of Risk Management.

She gave her time unsparingly and sat on many local boards and committees, including Lakes Region Child Care, Enhanced Life Options (ELO), Lakes Region Leadership, Tilton's Zoning Board, New Hampshire's Coalition Against Later Life Abuse (CALLA), and co-chair of the Financial Abuse Specialty Team (FAST). She also supported and mentored many individuals in the community, forming many lifelong friendships.

Karen was forever a free spirit who made friends easily. From early in her life she radiated optimism, fun, and loyalty. But she also was a woman of valor who epitomized the traditional Irish (Catholic) virtues of grace (faith), courage (hope), and generosity (charity). She saw the future, advocated tirelessly for protection of the vulnerable, and relished her work in compliance and fraud investigation.

Her unwavering sense of fair play and justice drove her to imagine, organize stakeholders, formulate, promote, and get the State Legislature to pass a law that criminalizes the financial exploitation of elder citizens. HB 1555 was signed by Governor Maggie Hassan on 19 June 2014, and incorporated in the New Hampshire criminal code, as statutes RSA 631:9 and RSA 631:10. This also led to the reconstitution of the Elder Abuse and Exploitation Unit in the office of NH's Attorney General. For her service, she was awarded the 2015 Anti-Money-Laundering Professional of the Year by the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).

Karen is survived by her husband of 42 years, Lloyd Charles Cornell; son Chas and daughter-in-law Elizabeth (nee Prehemo) Cornell of Concord NH; daughter, Brittani and her special friend Evan Clough of Fremont NH; mother Nora Kennedy of Durham NH, sister Dawn Kennedy and brother-in-law Ian Creagh of Greenwich, England, as well as nephew Francis Kennedy-Creagh and niece Maggie Kennedy-Creagh of London, England; brother Robert Kennedy III and sister-in-law Barbara Jackson of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and sister Isabel Kennedy of Rochester NH.

Karen was predeceased by her father Robert Kennedy Jr., of Durham NH.

Calling Hours will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 4:00pm -7:00pm at the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia NH, using the Carriage House entrance.

For those who wish, the family suggest that memorial donations may be made in Karen's memory to Enhanced Life Options, 55 Church St, Laconia, NH 03246.

Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia NH is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.
Published in The Concord Monitor on Aug. 29, 2019
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