Dr. Donald A. Cornely, 79, led Hopkins maternal, child division

March 24, 2003|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Dr. Donald A. Cornely, a former chairman of the Maternal and Child Health Department at what was then the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Mount Pleasant, S.C. He was 79.

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Cornely graduated from West Catholic High School, La Salle University and Jefferson Medical University. In 1958, he earned a master's degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University.

Before moving to Baltimore, Dr. Cornely taught at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh. He also worked for the Pennsylvania Health Department.

He joined the Maternal and Child Health Department at what is now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1965 and became its chairman in 1970.

After stepping down as chairman in 1989, he remained on staff or volunteered with the department until his family moved south in 1995.

While residing in Baltimore, Dr. Cornely received a number of prestigious awards. Among them were the Clifford G. Grulee Award for outstanding service to the American Academy of Pediatrics, of which he was a member, and the Dr. Martha Mae Eliot Award for exceptional achievement presented by the American Public Health Association.

He served as chairman of the National Research Committee for the Easter Seals Society and also served on that organization's board of directors.

While in Baltimore, Dr. Cornely was a devoted fan of the Baltimore Orioles.

"He loved baseball, loved the Orioles," said his daughter, Christine M. Sheetz of Pittsburgh.

"But after he moved to the South, He switched to the [Atlanta] Braves," she said. "We didn't hold that against him though."

Dr. Cornely and his wife of 55 years, the former Marie McKenna of Philadelphia, had 13 children.

The Cornely household was always interesting. "You can't imagine the fun we had; it was a great family to grow up in," Mrs. Sheetz said.

Dr. Cornley was a member of Christ Our King Roman Catholic Church, 1122 Russell Drive in Mount Pleasant, S.C., where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include five sons, Donald A. Cornely of Baltimore, Paul J. Cornely of Pittsburgh, Francis Cornely of Mount Pleasant, Joseph E. Cornely of Cincinnati and John M. Cornely of Charlotte, N.C.; seven daughters, Patricia M. Connor of Chatham, N.J., Marysusan Oroszlan, Eileen M. Bowman and Rosemary Hasson, all of Baltimore, Denis M. Jenkins of Landrum, S.C., Ann M. Berger of Houston and Michele M. Killmond of London.

He is also survived by three brothers, the Rev. Francis J. Cornely of Philadelphia, the Rev. Joseph Cornely of Los Angeles and Lawrence Cornely of Ennis, Mont.; two sisters, Dolores Koerwer of Middletown, N.J., and Nancy Dougherty of Marlboro, Mass.; and 27 grandchildren.

Donations are suggested to Trinity Missions, 500 E. Palmer Ave., Compton, CA 90221, or the Marie Rose Cornley Scholarship Fund at Bishop England High School, 363 Severn Farms Drive, Mount Pleasant, SC 29492.

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