Cornelius W. Wildhaber

July 11, 1926December 11, 2018

Cornelius “Cornie” William Wildhaber died peacefully at The Village at Victory Lakes Franciscan Ministries skilled nursing care on December 11, 2018 in Lindenhurst, Illinois at the age of 92.

Cornelius is survived by his sister-in-law Angeline Colombo Hnatt, nephews, nieces, grand nephews and grandnieces. He is preceded in death by beloved wife Rose Marie of Fox Lake, Illinois. Cornelius was born on July 11, 1926, in Beaufort, Missouri to Rudolph and Mary Wildhaber. He married Rose Marie (Colombo) in 1954. After moving to Fox Lake, Illinois, Cornelius continued to work for Ozark Airlines as a Captain for over 30 years. Over many years, the couple welcomed family members around the country into their home to enjoy one another’s company. His family will remember him as an intelligent quick-witted character who loved to spend time with all of them.

Cornelius was an accomplished airline transport, crop duster and private pilot who often flew family members in his Cessna 180 Seaplane. He was a member of the United States Marine Corps as a Pfc. during World War II serving as a mortar crewman who participated in the occupation of Japan.

Visitation Wednesday, January 2, 5–7:00 p.m. at Calcaterra Funeral Home. 5142 Daggett Ave. Funeral Thursday, January 3, 10:00 a.m. at St. Ambrose Church 5130 Wilson Ave. followed by Military Honors at Resurrection Cemetery. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Cornelius’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Dementia Society of America at

Condolences may be offered at

The family would like to thank Michael Orestes and Cynthia Hnatt for their many years of monumentous efforts, care, dedication, support. and love they gave to Cornelius throughout his transition from his home and extended stay at The Village at Victoria Lakes.


  • Rudolph Wildhaber, Father
  • Mary Wildhaber, Mother
  • Rose Marie (nee: Colombo) Wildhaber, Wife
  • Angeline Colombo Hnatt, Sister-in-law
  • Cornelius is survived by his nephews, nieces, grand nephews and grandnieces.


  • Visitation Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • Rosary Service Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cornelius W. Wildhaber

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kim Vosnos

January 1, 2019

Captain Cornelius was a true gentleman with a genuine smile . It was always a pleasure to see his name as your Captain on the Crew list. I started in Chicago as a flight attendant in 1978. Good memories of a great career with fine people like Cornie.

Jim Frankenberger

January 1, 2019

Cornie and I had parallel careers, both flying captain for Ozark at the Chicago domicile from its start in 1960 until its closing in 1978 (or 9?) . He was a good friend and respected by his fellow pilots and will be missed by all, now taking his "last flight west".

Jack Magee

January 1, 2019

Corney, although, senior was always a pleasure to fly with. His humor and professionalism were always present. At 86 I'm still kicking and greatly miss all the great men who flew for Ozark.

Richard Bell

January 1, 2019

I had the privilege of flying as a First Officer with Captain Wildhaber in my early years with Ozark Airlines.

He was so much fun to fly with, as he treated his F/O's not only as Copilots, but as friends.

He had such a great sense of dry humor, which made the cockpit a fun place to work in.

Thank you Captain Wildhaber for helping to shape me into a future Captain.


Dick Bell

Jeanne Quinlivan

December 26, 2018

Cornie and Rosie were our dear friends and neighbors at Fox Lake. We loved them, always inclusive, sitting in their screened in porch drinking Cornies homemade wine. Fun cherished memories. Their niece Peppermint Patty has always been a part of our lives. Their warmth and smiles are always with us.