Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Marilyn R. Cornelius, 83

Wellsville, NY - Marilyn R. Cornelius, 83, of 4192A Bolivar Road passed away on Friday, July 31, 2020 at the Wellsville Manor Care Center, with her family by her side. She was born March 25, 1937 in Niagara Falls, NY, the Daughter of the late Martin and Viola (Walck) Pfohl. On July 9, 1955 in Elm Valley she married Louis “Ben” Cornelius who predeceased her on December 19, 2018.

Throughout her life, Marilyn was employed in several professions, including a Telephone Operator for New York Telephone, being a waitress for The Coffee Pot, Long View, and Howard's, selling Avon, and working at the Allegany County Jail. However, Marilyn found her calling in nursing. She had been scheduled to be the valedictorian of her senior high school class but instead, opted to follow her heart and marry Ben before having the opportunity to graduate. At the age of 45 she began to pursue her dream and career, she obtained her GED and enrolled in the Alfred State College nursing program. She not only had perfect attendance, but earned high grades and the respect of the younger students. They loved her so much, they nominated her their class president. Upon graduating with an associates degree, Marilyn would work in both Olean General and Jones Memorial hospitals.

Marilyn and Ben were members of the Trinity Lutheran Church, and Marilyn was a member of the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps. She was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandma, aunt, nurse, and friend to many. Her work on Earth is done, and she is home with her Lord. 

Surviving are two sons, Louis “Ben” (Judith) Cornelius, and Bradley Cornelius both of Wellsville, a daughter, Karen Lane of Virginia Beach, VA; six grandchildren, Justin (Kari) Cornelius, Matthew (Diana Gowdy) Cornelius, Brian Lane, Kelly Lane, Joshua Cornelius, and Jacob Cornelius; a brother Delbert (Joanne) Phohl, and a sister Lorraine (Larry) Steingasser, both of Sanborn, NY; as well as several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased in addition to her parents and husband by an infant daughter, Sharon, and brother Melvin. 

Private Services will be held for family to honor her memory and celebrate her life.  Burial will be in Alfred Rural Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the SPCA Serving Allegany County, in memory of Elmo. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.


  1. Thinking of you and sending love to all of the family.

  2. Donna (Pfohl) KnightsAugust 20, 2020 at 8:32 AM

    Sending my sympathies to all of Marilyn's family. I have many fond childhood memories of our visits to Wellsville. May the memories you have bring peace to you at this difficult time. Love, Donna