Robert H. Cornell
New Comer Cremations & Funerals - Colonie (Albany)
343 New Karner Rd
Colonie, NY 12205
Cornell, Robert H. ALBANY Robert H. Cornell of Albany, passed away on April 28, 2021, at the age of 97. Born on June 12, 1923, he grew up in Corning, N.Y. and graduated from Corning Northside High School in June 1941. He is survived by his daughter Jeanne (Ron) Barriere; sons, Rod (Lila), Steve (Paula), and Mike (Sandy); and brother Dick Cornell. He is loved and remembered by his grandchildren, Raymond Brunk, Karen Danz, Liz (Scott) Lewis, Rodney Cornell, and Wendi (Joe) Johnson; and great-grandchildren, Erika Danz, Ayden Danz and Sarah Danz, Caroline and Colin Lewis, and Zachery (Sierra) and Emily Pieniazek. Robert was predeceased by his beloved wife of 69 years, Alvena Vera (Cook) Cornell; his parents, Helen and Clyde Cornell; his brother Clyde Cornell; and his sister Irene Hall. He grew up enjoying the great outdoors, hunting, fishing, and the Boy Scouts. In the Boys Scouts he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout (Order of the Arrow) and earned every merit badge offered by the B.S.A. at that time. In his early teens he served as a counselor at Boy Scout Camp Gorton on Waneta Lake and was an exceptional swimmer. Following his graduation from High School, Robert worked for New York Telephone Company in Corning. During World War II, he joined the Navy and earned his "wings of gold" as a naval aviator and was commissioned as an ensign. As the war ended, he was waiting for take off orders to fly with his PBM squadron to test the coastal defenses of Japan prior to the invasion. On February 10, 1945, he married the love of his life Alvena V. Cook. Following World War II, he remained in a recall status with the Navy and missed flying Corsair fighter planes in Korea due to a deferment involving a marital status with four children. Robert was an avid aviation enthusiast his entire life and in later years enjoyed piloting radio-controlled model planes. After returning home from World War II, he returned to work at the New York Telephone Company where he remained until retirement. During his career at New York Telephone, he served in a variety of positions from lineman to management and lived in Corning, Auburn, Hamburg, and Albany. Robert enjoyed sports both as a participating athlete and as a spectator. He played high school and semi-professional football and boxed on the Navy pre-flight team as a light heavy weight. He particularly enjoyed watching High School football from the time his sons played until his later years. Known to all as Bob, or "Bumpa" he loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and enjoyed teaching them about a wide range of interests from the outdoors to fishing to playing chess. Bob was a proficient handyman with skills in carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He helped build his first retirement home in Hammondsport, N.Y. where he enjoyed fishing, trapping, and hunting until moving to the Albany area to be closer to family. Robert and the remains of his wife Alvena will be interred in the Saratoga National Cemetery in a private ceremony on June 3, 2021. Contributions may be made in Robert Cornell's name to Baptist Health Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Lou Carol Comley, Director of Customer Relations, 297 North Ballston Ave., Scotia, NY, 12302, or the Community Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital, 310 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY, 12208. To leave a special message for the family online please visit

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Published by Albany Times Union on May 13, 2021.
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New Comer Cremations & Funerals - Colonie (Albany)
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My husband Jerry Champlain and my brother Kevin Russell would go coon hunting with Bob. They always talked about the great hunts with Bob and they just loved him. Bob would write Jerry a letter every Christmas updating us on his life. I’m so sorry for your families loss!
Lynnette Champlain
May 16, 2021