Leon Dale Cornett, 87, of Hesston, KS, passed away on January 23, 2018 at Newton Medical Center, Newton, KS.
The funeral service will be held at Webb & Rodrick Chapel & Crematory in Independence, KS on Friday, January 26th at 10am. Rev Joe Davolt will be officiating. Visitation will be held at Webb & Rodrick Chapel & Crematory on Thursday, January 25th from 6-7pm. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetary in Independence, KS, immediately following funeral.
Dale was born in Cherryvale, KS on July 13, 1930 to Lee & Edna (Sumner) Cornett. He graduated from Independence High School. He served in the US Navy during the Korean War on the USS Boxer.
He married Betty Sue Brown in Wichita, KS in 1957 and moved to Fresno, California to work for Sears & Roebuck in Sales and Management positions. He was most proud of his achievement of selling $1M worth of appliances in 1 year. While living there, they adopted 2 children, Curtis and Michelle and mentored a college student, Doyle Clayton, who lived with them and is considered a member of the family. They later moved to Blue Dome, Idaho and owned and operated a cafe. They started a trend of hanging mugs on the wall for the numerous neighbors and truckers that stopped in the cafe to drink coffee. More than 800 mugs hung on the wall. While living in Idaho, he also worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
They returned to Independence, KS in 1981 with their grand-daughter, Candice, where he continued to work in sales for Otasco. Candice later invited him to her vacation bible school end of week celebration which started Dale's passion for the Lord. He later became an ordained minister and pastored his first church, 1st Baptist Church, in Howard, KS. He also pastored several locations around south-central Kansas and Senior Saints at 1st Baptist Church, Independence, KS. During his time with Senior Saints, he established and dispensed financial assistance from various local churches to individuals with short term financial needs.
In January 1994, Dale's wife Betty, passed away. They had been married for 37 years with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. Later that year, he married Janice (Cranor) Burkey and they have been married for 24 years. He gained 2 children with this marriage, Shawna (Burkey) McBee and Troy Burkey.
Dale and Jan continued to live in Independence, KS while Jan finished her nursing career at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center. Dale assumed the "house spouse" responsibilities during this time.
Over the next 24 years, he helped with daughter Shawna's wedding; officiated the weddings for daughter Michelle, grand-daughter, Candice and son Troy. He became a grandfather to 4 more grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Dale and Jan moved to Hesston after she retired to be closer to family.
He enjoyed painting, reading, history, hiking, hunting and watching football and baseball. He loved to tell a story, whether it would be about history, his life or random life lessons.
Dale is survived by wife, Janice Cornett; son and family Curtis, Kelly and Brianna Cornett from Broken Arrow OK; daughter, Michelle Stephens from Tulsa, OK; daughter and family, Shawna, Neko, Kadin and Dylan McBee from Walton, KS; son and family, Troy, Courtney, Brogan and Vivian Burkey from Lantana, TX; granddaughter and family Candice, Jason , Kaleb and Levi Howard of Towanda, KS; grandson and children TJ, Anthony, Ellie, and Arlo Charles of Claremore, OK; sister Gloria Whiteside from Salmon, Idaho; and other family and friends.
Dale is preceded in death by parents Lee and Edna Cornett; sisters Helen Newman, Arlene Garvey; wife, Betty Sue Cornett.
He was greatly loved and will be forever missed but remembered with a smile.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Ochelata Youth Camp and may be given to Janice Cornett or Webb & Rodrick Chapel & Crematory.