Delbert K. (Del) Cornella, 84, and a resident of Hawthorne and Walker Lake for the past 52 years, died Friday, March 17, 2017 at Mt. Grant General Hospital. Del was born in Mitchell, S.D., to Rudolph K. and Florence (Wallis) Cornella on Jan20, 1933, and grew up on his family’s ranch near Buffalo, S.D. Del served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, assigned to the 510th Field Artillery from February 1953 to December 1954 and was stationed in Germany.
After his discharge from the Army, Del worked in the oil fields in New Mexico, Colorado and South Dakota before going to college. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northern State College in Aberdeen, S.D. It was while attending college that he met and married the love of his life, Mary Lou (Meidinger). They married on May 28, 1961.
Del’s first teaching position was at White High School in South Dakota, teaching shop, physical education and athletics. While at White, he continued his education at South Dakota State University (Brookings), earning his master’s degree. He then filled the position of high school principal at White before moving to Atkinson, Nebwhere he served as high school principal for the 1964-65 school year.
In 1965, Del was offered a position at Mineral County High School (MCHS) and moved his family (wife, Mary Lou and son, Delbert L.) to Hawthorne. He was the industrial arts instructor at MCHS for one year before being offered the high school principal position. He served as principal until his retirement in 1990. During his tenure at MCHS, Del was very active in Nevada Athletics and served on various organizations at the state level.
In addition to his duties as an educator and principal, Del and his wife owned and operated an apartment complex in Hawthorne. Del also enjoyed spending time outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman and camper. After his retirement, he traveled to Alaska with his favorite hunting buddy and his son Del, to hunt the big moose. He also hunted moose and elk in Idaho, Montana and Utah.
Del was preceded in death by his parents and both brothers: Wallis and Ronald, as well as two infant sisters. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Lou; son Delbert L. Cornella; three grandsons: Cameron (Elizabeth, Colo.), Jed (Park City, Utah and Dillan (Hawthorne) and granddaughter, Dixie (Hawthorne). He is also survived by a nephew and several nieces. Del was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and friend to many.
In accordance with Del’s wishes, no services will be held.