Cover photo for Don E. Cornelius's Obituary
Don E. Cornelius Profile Photo
1936 Don 2022

Don E. Cornelius

December 20, 1936 — June 28, 2022

Don Cornelius

Reston, Virginia

Don Edward Cornelius passed away June 28, 2022. Don was born to John and Adeleen Cornelius on December 20, 1936, in Ronan, MT. He was the first of seven children. John raised cattle on a dairy farm and Don learned from a very young age the value of being industrious. After graduating high school, Don attended Brigham Young University where he met the love of his life, Karen Anderson. Don and Karen spent nearly 64 years utterly in love with each other. Don graduated with a BA in History in 1958.

Don and Karen then returned to Montana where Don attended the University of Montana, graduating in 1968 with an MA in History. Don served proudly for the United States Army and achieved the rank of Captain in a field artillery unit. Don then served in the Intelligence Community throughout southeast Asia for the duration of his career. While stationed in the Philippines, Don and Karen adopted their children, Sean, and Anne.

Don and his family returned to the United States where Don retired in 1995. Nevertheless, Don kept very busy in retirement. For 13 years he volunteered at a food pantry. He became a social butterfly who constantly scheduled lunches with friends and dates with his sweetheart. Don was well known to make friends wherever he went and became a mentor to countless people throughout his life. He loved unconditionally and showed his love for all people wherever he went.

Don is survived by his beloved wife Karen; children: Sean, Anne, and his son-in-law Scott.

A funeral service for Don will take place on July 9, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., 1515 Poplar Grove Dr. Reston, VA 20194. A viewing will begin at 10:00 a.m.  Don will be interred at Richfield City Cemetery in Richfield, Utah on July 16,  2022 at 12:00 Noon.

Flowers can be sent to Magleby Mortuary, 50 South 100 West, Richfield, UT 84701; or, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice in Don’s honor.

Online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Don E. Cornelius, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Richfield City Cemetery, Sigurd Ward Chapel, Magleby Mortuary

723 S 100 East, Ephraim, UT 84627

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