Lorene E. (Lehmann) Cornwell was born on July 19, 1937, the only child of Arthur and Frieda Lehmann, in Smith Center, Ks. She was baptized at the Christ Lutheran Church in Gaylord on August 15, 1937, and was confirmed at the Christ Lutheran Church in Gaylord. She died on May 19, 2020 at Sunporch of Smith County nursing home at the age of 82 years and 10 months.
Lorene attended grade school at the Corvalis Rural School and attended high school in Smith Center. She graduated high school in 1955 and immediately started working at the Smith County State Bank as bookkeeper. In 1958 she met Harold Cornwell and the two were married on October 10, 1959. This union was blessed with a son, Garen D. and a daughter, Carol Renee.
In 1967 Lorene and Harold decided to have Lorene become a full time homemaker where she devoted herself to raising her family and helping with various chores around the farm. Lorene was a wonderful cook and loved to take care of her family. In the early 1970’s Lorene took on a second job outside the home by helping her parents in the custodial work at the First National Bank as her mother Frieda’s health began to fail. In 1976 Harold started helping Lorene in the bank, all in addition to the full time farming.
In 1991 their first grandchild was born, with more to follow in the next few years. Lorene loved her grandchildren and she and Harold enjoyed attending their events, helping in homework, and having them come visit as much as they could. In 1997 both Harold and Lorene retired from the bank to slow down a bit while continuing to farm. Lorene loved to make meals and take them to the field during the harvest time of the crops.
In 1999 Lorene lost her husband of 39 years, Harold. She continued to help her son as best she could in the family farm business by doing the books and cooking the meals she was known for.
Lorene enjoyed getting together with her trio of friends for their monthly coffee outings. She was also an active member of the American Lutheran Church in Smith Center, up until Alzheimer's started to rear in 2011. After a time, crowds were too much to bear, so Lorene felt unable to attend church, but did listen at home and remained a faithful servant to Christ.
Those who will miss her greatly are her son Garen of Smith Center; her daughter Carol Phipps of Wichita; 5 grandchildren: Eric Phipps in California, Kyle Cornwell in Smith Center, Kristen Phipps in Ohio, Anne (husband Aaron) Sellars of Kansas City, and Vance Cornwell in Great Bend; 1 great grandson Axel; and many other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents Arthur and Frieda, and her husband Harold.
Graveside services will be held at 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 22, 2020 at Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center, with Pastor Lorna Paulus officiating. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2020 with family present from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, 113 S. Madison St., Smith Center, KS 66967. Memorials may be given to the Lorene E. Cornwell Memorial Fund and sent in care of the funeral chapel.