Parents Honored with Sustaining Fund Gift


The Cornwells: Parents Honored with Sustaining Fund Gift

Cornwall family When F. Gordon and Jean Cornwell moved their young family from the East Coast to Traverse City in 1947, the couple wholeheartedly embraced the people and places of northern Michigan – a way of life that’s just as important to their four children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who remain residents of the area.

Gordon and Jean Cornwells’ commitment to the region – as business owners, community activists and champions of preserving a vibrant Traverse City – also continues to impact the lives of so many others, including individuals touched by cancer.

First Gift to Cancer Sustaining Fund

The Cornwell family provided the first gift of $10,000 to Munson Healthcare’s Cancer Sustaining Fund. “Mom and dad’s legacy is an investment in the community – this gift is an extension of what they’ve done all of their lives,” said their son Bob Cornwell.

“Gordon Cornwell passed away in July 2011 at age 93. Jean, to whom he was married for 68 years, died in May 2017 at age 98. Their children – Gordon H. Cornwell, Steven Cornwell, Nancy Walton, and Bob Cornwell – presented their gift of $10,000 to Munson Healthcare Foundations. Given family members’ personal experiences with the Cowell Family Cancer Center, the decision was made to direct the gift to the Cancer Sustaining Fund.

Commitment to Community

“Our parents always knew how fortunate we have been to have had Munson Healthcare in our community to provide vital medical services for all of us,” Walton said. “Six generations of our family, from our great-grandmother to our own grandchildren, have sought and received wonderful medical care.”

“Our parents were interested in Munson Healthcare’s ongoing and continuing development through this gift to the Foundation,” Gordon H. Cornwell said.

As an architect with Parsons Corporation, and later through his own architectural practice on Front Street, F. Gordon Cornwell’s passion for enhancing and preserving the area’s beauty could be seen in the buildings he designed and the organizations to which he belonged – and in some cases helped start. His design projects ranged from schools and churches in Traverse City and beyond, to the downtown city-county building, early area hospitals, and many local residences.

Jean Cornwell, who attended nursing school at Yale University, is described by her children as the person who “made the wheels work in our family.” Along with handling administrative tasks for the family’s architectural practice, she dedicated more than 30 years to volunteering as a “Pink Lady,” assisting visitors at Munson Medical Center.

A Family’s Legacy

Their parents’ commitment to giving back to the community indeed left a lasting impression on the siblings and their families. Each has contributed to their hometown in various ways, through architecture and real estate, and as a downtown business owner. All share a love of the area and preserving its beauty and helping it grow for future generations.

Learn More 

To learn how you can help, call 231-213-1150.


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