William Coleman Cornwell

October 25, 1928March 8, 2019

William Cornwell William “Bill” Cornwell, of Chattanooga, passed away Friday, March 8, 2019 at the age of 90.

He was a lifelong resident of Chattanooga. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee to Hazel and John Cornwell; attended Father Ryan School for Boys; Bill served in the Air Force; as well as the reserves until 1947; he worked for IBM for more than 38 years where he retired as a field engineer.

Bill and his wife Ida attended St. Stephen Catholic Church on Lee Highway for more than 50 years. Bill was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 6099 and a fourth degree member of Assembly 3250.

Bill was an avid Vol’s fan, golfer, and a Mr. Fix-it.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ida Cornwell; mother, Hazel Stephenson; brothers, John Hunter Cornwell and Frank Stevenson; and sister, Sue Carillion.

Survivors include his sister, Mary Carpenter; children Bill (Elaine) Cornwell, Linda VanHorn, Jerry Cornwell, Bobby Cornwell, and Michael (Janie) Cornwell; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Special thanks to his sitters, JoAnne Kramer, Tracy Choate, several special church friends from the community, and a very special thanks to John Sopko, Bill’s BFF for helping our family the last several years of his life, we could not have done it without him.

A heart-felt thanks to St. Stephen Catholic Church for which the family was proud to be members.

The family will receive friends Thursday, March 14, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. at the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, and Friday, March 15, 2019 from 10-11 a.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 7111 Lee Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37421. Funeral mass will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Father Bartholomew Okere and Father Manuel Pérez concelebrating.

Interment will follow at Chattanooga National Cemetery with Military Honors. Reception following the burial at St. Stephen Church Hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus Council 6099, Right to life fund, P.O. Box 21481, Chattanooga, TN 37424.

Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.

Please share your thoughts and memories at


  • Knights of Columbus Council 6099, Right to Life Fund


  • Receiving of Friends Thursday, March 14, 2019
  • Receiving of Friends Friday, March 15, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, March 15, 2019
  • Interment Friday, March 15, 2019

William Coleman Cornwell

have a memory or condolence to add?

James Rosenbloom

March 13, 2019

I worked for the City of Chattanooga in the Data Processing Division for 30 years. Back in the early '70s, we had IBM mainframe computers (360/370). Several IBM customer support engineers were assigned to our account. Sometimes we would experience problems with the computer and the customer support engineers couldn't figure out what the problem was. Bill was always called, didn't matter if it was day or night, he would show up. In a short time, he would have the problem fixed. I have fond memories of watching him work and talking to him.
He was a fine person. My condolences to his family. Rest in Peace Bill.

Linda VanHorn

March 12, 2019

I'm heart broken, but I know you and mama are together again.......Love you both!

Daniel Gray

March 10, 2019

Thanks for all the help over the years at IBM, bill. You were a great friend. Rest in peace, papa smurf. Dan