Cover photo for William A. Cornelius's Obituary
William A. Cornelius Profile Photo
1935 William 2019

William A. Cornelius

July 3, 1935 — September 25, 2019

William A. Cornelius of Stanardsville, Virginia passed away peacefully on September 25, 2019 at Rosewood Village in Charlottesville, Virginia surrounded by his family.

Bill was born July 3, 1935 in North Plainfield, New Jersey to the late Clarence and Violet Cornelius. He married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis (Berberich) in 1957. He lived in Warren for many years before returning to North Plainfield in 1980 and moved to Stanardsville, Virginia in 2014 to live with his daughter and son-in-law.

Bill proudly served in the U.S. Army upon graduating North Plainfield High School. Before retirement he worked for the Warren Township Sewer Authority. Bill was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, had a wonderful sense of humor and was best known for his detailed and exaggerated storytelling. The laughter from those stories can still be heard today, especially by his grandchildren. His favorite saying was simply “be happy”. He enjoyed surf fishing and vacationing on LBI, although any time was a good time when he was with his family.

He is predeceased by his brother, Clarence. He is survived by his cherished wife of almost 62 years, Phyllis Cornelius and their children, Kim Spitzmiller and her husband John of Stanardsville, Virginia and William P. Cornelius of St. Petersburg, Florida, his grandchildren Ryan, Kyle and Tyler of Charlottesville, Virginia and his treasured great granddaughter Carson Grace Spitzmiller of Smithfield, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of the Piedmont, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 300, Charlottesville, VA 22911 or a charity of your choice.

An online guestbook is available at

Services were private under the direction of Ryan Funeral Home of Ruckersville, Virginia is in charge of arrangements.

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


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