Sep 9th 1940 - Apr 26th 2012
Unconditional in her love, Cecilia Cornelius was such a wonderful woman, who gave her all in everything she did with an unwavering and optimistic spirit. A selfless lady of such great grace and strength, she faced many challenges in her lifetime, yet enjoyed many more triumphs. Her life was built on the bedrock of her great faith, the inner compass that guided her every day of life. She inspired everyone she met to be a better person and live every day to its fullest extent. Cecilia will be fondly remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to all who knew her.
The first years of the 1940s marked a tumultuous decade for America, as well as for the rest of the world. In Europe, fighting erupted between Allied and Axis forces and America would soon be drawn into this conflict by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was into this chaotic world that Cecilia was born on September 8, 1940, in Indianapolis, Indiana to Philip and Cecilia (Guedelhofer) Cornelius. Despite the unrest in the world, Cec, as she was affectionately called, enjoyed a typical childhood growing up in her large, close-knit family, where she was one of ten children. Her family was faithful members of the Catholic church, and this strong spiritual upbringing would always be an important part of Cec’s life.
Cec lived most of her life on the north side of Indianapolis. It is the place she called home, and the place where she created a lifetime full of memories with her family and friends. Cec received her education attending St. Joan of Arc Grade School and Ladywood Academy, and after graduating, she went on to earn degrees from both St. Mary of the Woods College and Butler University. She then put her education to good use working for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in fundraising, but also found great joy working at Happy Hallow Children’s Camp, where she later retired. In connection with her work, Cec was a member of the Indiana Society of Fundraising Executives.
The one thing that upheld Cec throughout her life was her faith in God. She was a devout Catholic and member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, though she also attended on occasion Christ the King and St. Matthew Catholic Church. Cec had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and was faithful about praying the Rosary daily. With faith as her constant guide, Cec accomplished much in life and loved abundantly. She embraced the love of her family and spent a lifetime making precious memories, which will be forever etched in the hearts of all those she leaves behind.
One of Cec’s favorite places was at her alma mater, St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana. She remained active with the Sisters of the Providence and their work on the campus, and she also served as president of the Indianapolis Chapter of St. Mary of the Woods College. On a warm summer day, Cec liked to wander down to Lake Michigan in St. Joseph and spend some time by the water. Her kids joked that Pat Flynn’s – a north side local bar and restaurant, was also one of Cec’s favorite hangouts; she always seemed to run into friends here and enjoyed catching up with others that she hadn’t seen in a while.
Cec was the embodiment of a good, faithful woman, always caring and funny, despite having to endure physical challenges for much of her adult life. She was diagnosed with COPD several years ago, and as it progressed, she was eventually put on oxygen. Yet, even in her most difficult moments, Cec drew strength from her devout faith and put her trust in God. Although Cec will be deeply missed, her legacy of faith and devotion leaves her loved one with wonderful memories and a strong foundation to look to for comfort.
Cecilia Cornelius, 71, lifelong Indianapolis, IN resident, died peacefully on Thursday, April 26, 2012. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by siblings, Cornelia, Constance, Philip Martin “Buddy” Cornelius, Jr., and Sally Ohleyer. Survivors include her sons, Ted J. Sherfick (Kim) of Indianapolis and Edward P. Sherfick (James Mitcheltree) of Portland, Oregon; daughters, Alice A. Sherfick Shelton (John) of Indianapolis and Cynthia A. Sherfick Schassberger (John) of Carmel; brothers, David Cornelius (Maureen) and John Cornelius (Ellen), both of Indianapolis; sisters, Sondra Wellman, Melissa Mates (Mike), both of Indianapolis, and Carol Hutton (David) of Kalamazoo, Michigan; eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Friends and family will gather on Monday, April 30, from 4 – 8 p.m. in Flanner & Buchanan Mortuary- Broad Ripple. The Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary of the Woods College, the Sisters of Providence, or to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Carlisle – Branson Funeral Service & Crematory, Mooresville. Visit www.carlislebranson.com to share a favorite memory or to sign the online guest registry.