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Curtis F. Cornelius, 89

A  Celebration of Life Service for Curtis F. Cornelius, age 89, longtime Larimore area banker, will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at the Amundson Funeral Home, Grand Forks North Dakota.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the ceremony to be followed by a gathering of friends and family at the Amundson Funeral Home after the Celebration of Life Ceremony.

Curtis Fillmore Cornelius, known to his friends as “Curt”, was born September 18, 1926 to Oscar L.  and Mayme Erdahl Cornelius of Rosholt, South Dakota, where he graduated from Rosholt High School in 1944. He graduated from the Minnesota School of Business in 1945 with a degree in Junior Accounting. He subsequently attended the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1962 and followed that with the University of Minnesota-Morris –Midwest Banking Institute in 1970.

Curtis’ work as a banker took him to several different cities before finally settling in Larimore.  His first banking job was in Lidgerwood, ND; but shortly thereafter fate and fortune led him to Hebron, ND where Curtis met and married Alice Lenore Rehm in September 1948.  His banking career next took he and Lenore to Towner, ND which is where his two daughters were born. In 1957 he moved his family to Warren, MN where he took a banking job with a member of the Bremer Banking family. Finally, he settled his family in what became his true home in Larimore, ND in 1967. The bank there was then known as the Elk Valley State Bank but was eventually renamed the Bremer Bank of Larimore. Curtis served as the President of that Bremer Bank until his retirement in 1990 after 45 years in banking. His bank, throughout his tenure, was one of the leading banks in the Bremer Banking family. During his many years of banking he served as an Officer with the ND Bankers Association.

Curtis was incredibly dedicated to the growth of the city of Larimore during his banking career and remained a true citizen of the community throughout his life, serving on numerous citizen boards and committees. There were very few major community improvements in Larimore, ND that do not bear his footprint. He was recently acknowledged for his pioneering foresight in the formation of the present day Larimore Good Samaritan Center. Ironically, he came to use the Larimore Ambulance and Rescue Service, an organization in which he served during his working life.

Curtis was a devoted family man enjoying richly the lives of his two daughters Charlotte and Karla and in turn their respective daughters, Sarah J. Hill and Lauryn Bellows Maly. Although he enjoyed traveling during his lifetime, he found spending the summers in Larimore the rich reward for his working life. His happiest moment were the summers with his granddaughters either  at the Larimore dam or on the Larimore Golf Course and, of course, driving them in the Larimore Days Parades in his miniature Model A. He enjoyed hunting and fishing throughout his life. Upon retirement, in addition to doing estate planning,  he loved helping his farmer friends by driving during the harvest season. That took him back to his roots on the family farm in Rosholt.

Curtis was a “Ford guy” having grown up with a father who had a Ford dealership in Rosholt, Cornelius & Dahl. One of his joys in life was to own a Lincoln, which he did throughout his life. He purchased his last one in 2014 and enjoyed it immensely to the last days.

Surrounded by his family, Curtis passed away on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at TCU of Valley Eldercare in Grand Forks, ND.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Lenore Cornelius, Larimore, ND; two daughters, Charlotte (James) Hill, Bismarck, ND, and  Karla (William) Bellows, Brooklyn Park, MN; two granddaughters, Dr. Sarah J. Hill, Boston, MA and Lauryn Bellows (Josh) Maly, Brooklyn Park, MN; two  brothers, Charles (Darleen) Cornelius, Oak Park Heights, MN and Stan (Sharon) Cornelius, Rosholt, SD; one sister, Marion Nelson, Sioux Falls, SD and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Maurice “Bud” Cornelius and Ron Cornelius and his granddaughter, Courtney Bellows.

Memorials may be made to the Larimore Ambulance and Rescue Service, Larimore, ND or the Bellevue Cemetery Fund, Larimore, ND.

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