Nov. 6, 1922 – Nov. 5, 2004
Corn was born near Greentohl in Steele District, northeast of Saskatoon on November 6, 1922. He was the fifth of seventeen children born, the oldest son of Cornelius and Helena Schmidt. Twelve children were raised, five died at an early age.
Corny grew up on the farm and started in Steele District. Later the family moved to a farm in Renfrew District. He attended school there when possible. Being the oldest son, he spent much time working on the farm, this left little time for education. In his teenage years he worked for various farms and was a good horseman and good with animals of all kinds. He was also a very good athlete and enjoyed sports.
Corny worked in logging camps near Kapuskasing, Ontario and then Carrot River, Saskatchenwan. He had his back broken at the age of nineteen by a falling tree while in Ontario and was taken by dog sled to Kapuskasing, 75 miles down river. Later he worked at various jobs in Saskatoon, including construction.
In Jauary 1946, Corny joined his brother George at Tatalrose, south of Francois Lakeee, BC. Here they worked for Joe Bauman, logging and sawmilling. Corny and George purchased a farm south of Grassy Plains. They farmed, logged and sawmilled together for awhile then Corny went on his own and sawmilled around Grassy Plains for several years.
Corny met Betty Bergen in 1950 and they were married on September 27, 1952. They made their home one-half mile north of Grassy Plains where son Ritchie was born in November 1953. Corny continued in the sawmill business until June 30, 1956, when tragedy struck and a stray bulle hit him in the back of his head. He was flown to Vancouver where he remained unconscious for thirteen days. When he became conscious he was blind. In the spring of 1957 they moved to a five-acre piece two miles south of Grassy Plains. With the help of family, friends and neighbours they built a home. Daughter Gail was born in December 1957 but only lived less than a day. Later that winter Corny was on a load of loose hay that upset and hay knife severely cut his right leg. Corny returned to his farming roots and he raised chickens, sold eggs, raised cattle, milked cows and shipped cream.
After three plus years of being blind, he suddenly regained partial vision, this was quite a blessing and through the sixties and seventies Corny continued farming. It was not an easy life, but they alwayss managed. In 1975 another terrible accident which almost took his life, a tractor rolled over with him on it. In 1987, Corny gave up farming. Then in November of 1989, wife Betty passed away after years of failing health.
The last fifteen years became progressively more difficult as Corny’s arthritis became worse and more debilitating. From 1997 on he suffered numerous heart attacks as well as a number of other ailments. The last five years Corny spent in a wheelchair but he always remained positive about life and could always manage a smile or a word of cheer. He always enjoyed people especially children. He was very fond of music and partial to gospel and counry and western.
Corny was a community-minded person and involved in various functions. He was one of the founding members of the Grassy Plains Credit Unionnn in the late 1950’s. He was also involved with the building of the Grassy Plains Gospel Church where he and Betty attended for many years, and he also helped with the construction of the Grassy Plains community hall. Also, many times Corny was called on to help a neighbour with a sick cow or a calving problem. He was always willing to go no matter what time of day or night.
On August 1, 2000, Corny moved to Heritage Manor in Burns Lake. He enjoyed all his friends and neighbours at the manor. On August 18, 2004, Corny had his second cataract eye surgery of the summer. The following day he suffered a stroke and three day later another stroke. Corny was hospitalized for the final two and one-half months of his life. He passed away on the morning of November 5, 2004. At peace, and forever in our hearts. A funeral service was held at the Grassy Plains Gospel Church on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. Cornelius is survived by his son: Richie (Jill) Schmidt; step-son: Cameron (Marg) Johnston; step-grandsons: Aaron (Bryanna) Ingram, Wesley (Kelly) Ingram, Bob (Andrea) Johnston, Curtis Johnston; step-great grandchildren: Makala Ingram, Evan Ingram, Liam Johnston, Brendan Johnston; sisters: Anna Carr, Betty Siemens, Agatha (Jake) Klassen, Margaret (George) Siemens; brothers: Jake (Ruth) Schmidt, John (Olga) Schmidt; and numerous brrothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Corny was predeceased by his parents Cornelius and Helena Schmidt, daughter Gail, wife Betty, brothers George and Frank, and sisters Helen, Katherine and Mary. In memory of Corny, donations may be made to the Lakes District Hospital Palliative Care Room.