Richard Cornish, 85, meat cutter, veteran

December 21, 2003

Richard Cornish, a meat cutter for more than 30 years at various Baltimore markets, died Dec. 14 of kidney failure at Future Care Homewood Nursing Home in Charles Village. The lifelong Baltimore resident was 85.

Known by friends and family as "Baby Richard," Mr. Cornish was born and raised in South Baltimore and educated in the city's school system. He played football, softball and basketball for his neighborhood team in local all-black leagues. He also boxed under the name "Kid Martini."

He entered the Army in 1942 and served in England and France during World War II.

After the war, he began his career as a meat cutter, working at numerous markets including Miracle Grocery Store and Schaffer's Meats.

In the late 1960s, he opened a recreational hall in South Baltimore called Richard's Place, where neighborhood children came to play pool and eat his home-cooked meals.

After he retired from meat cutting in the 1970s, he coordinated regular meetings of the Old Timers Get Together Club, a group of neighbors and former sandlot athletes. He bought plaques and trophies honoring his former teammates and opponents.

He also walked from his home on Callaway Avenue to Lexington Market and back almost every day during retirement.

Services were held Friday.

He is survived by two sons, Keith Cornish of Pikesville and Walter Smith of Baltimore; two daughters, Cecelia Brooks and Sharon Chambers of Baltimore; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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