J.W. “Bill” Cornett, 87, a longtime Keating resident, died April 20, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
His graveside service was held today at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor George Rau of Elkhorn Ministries officiated.
Bill was born June 2, 1915, to Joseph Ellis and Evva Rayburn Cornett at Celexico, Calif. He attended various schools throughout California.
He started working on a milk delivery route at the age of 8 and at the age of 14 he started driving truck. When he was 16 he obtained his chauffeur’s license.
He enjoyed trucking and would regale friends for hours with stories of his trucking exploits. Bill worked at an aircraft plant in California in the late 1930s. In his spare time he would ride motorcycles down into Mexico with a group of friends. He really enjoyed riding motorcycles, even into his later years.
In 1946, Bill met and married Arloine Ritter of Keating. The couple moved to the Ritter Ranch at Keating where they remained until Arloine’s death in February of 1977.
Bill then moved up the road to the Horan Ranch, which he leased. He worked and lived there for the remainder of his life.
Survivors include his son Leland Cornett and his wife, Cindy, of Kennewick, Wash.; a grandson, Michael Cornett also of Kennewick, Wash.; a granddaughter, Jill Shelby and her husband, Ron, of Richland, Wash.; and four great-grandchildren, Emma, Eli, Eden, and Eva Shelby.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Arloine; one brother; and two sisters.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Keating Rural Fire District through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 28, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor