Sally M. Cornish, 87, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Sally M. Cornish, 87, passed away Friday, March 20, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

Due to restrictions regulating public gatherings considering the coronavirus, the
funeral will be held for the convenience of family. There are no calling hours. A
celebration of life and burial in Brookside Cemetery will be held at a later day and
time to be announced.

Arrangements are with the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, Watertown.

Born May 7, 1932, in Watertown, the daughter of Francis and Virgiline Osborn Cavanagh, she graduated from Watertown High School a semester early in January 1949. She attended Potsdam State College, graduating in 1953 with a degree in early education.

While in college, she met Edward Cornish on a blind date. They married on Dec. 20, 1952.

Once her children were all in school by 1968, Sally started her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher first at Thompson school and then at Knickerbocker School. She was known for the wonderful shows, meals and hands-on projects she did with her classes. Through the years she was always pleased when former
students came and told her what fond memories they had of her as a teacher.
She could usually remember each student.

Sally was always a volunteer in the community from her early years going door to
door collecting donations for the March of Dimes and Community Chest (now
United Way), and to volunteering at the Samaritan Hospital gift shop where she
worked close to 40 years.

In the past she served on the boards of the Cancer Society, YMCA, Samaritan Auxiliary and Impossible Dream. While serving on the YMCA board, she was on the team that started the Women’s Center. She was a Girl Scout leader, filling her house with boxes of cookies the year she served as area cookie chairman.

Other organizations she volunteered her time include the Jefferson County Historical Society, North Country Children’s Clinic, Red Cross blood drives and Lyric Theatre ticket sales and backstage help. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi for many years and served as its City Council president twice.

Over the years Sally and Ed were active members of the United Methodist Church, Emmanuel Congregational Church and Stone Presbyterian Church.

Most of all, Sally was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, teacher and friend. She was always thinking of and doing for others. She was always there to give love and a helping hand.

Sally leaves behind five children, Michelle (David) Pfaff, Edward “Skip” (Karen) Cornish, twin daughters Deborah and Dianne Cornish and Karen Lapusnak. She is
also survived by six grandchildren, Jim (Jenifer) Lewis, Whitney (Dusty) Woods,
Carrie Pfaff, Jeffrey Terrillion, Alex Lapusnak, Katie Lapusnak and two great-grandchildren, Miles Lewis and Makayla Woods.

Her husband Edward passed away Feb. 17 of this year.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson County Historical Society,
228 Washington St. Watertown, NY 13601 or to Stone Presbyterian Church, 140
Chestnut St., Watertown, NY 13601.

Online condolences may be made at