John Gerard Cornellier, 89, of Keene, formerly of Jaffrey, died peacefully in his sleep, on Monday morning, August 13, 2018, at his home in Keene.
He was born on November 8, 1928, in Lowell, MA, to Maxime J. and Regina B. (Frappier) Cornellier. Raised in Lowell, he attended a bi-lingual school through the eighth grade. Upon graduating from Boston College High School, with the Class of 1946, he entered the Jesuit Seminary. During the course of his seminary training he obtained a Master’s Degree from Weston College, an affiliate of Boston College. During his training he was assigned three years of missionary work at Baghdad College in Baghdad, Iraq, where he learned Arabic.
Returning to the States, he continued his theological studies and was ordained in 1959. After his ordination, he was assigned to the faculty of Cheverus High School, in Portland, ME as a teacher of French and was chairman of the language department. During this time he pursued further studies in French, obtaining a Master’s Degree in French from Rivier College in Nashua, NH.
In 1966 he was appointed Principal of the newly founded Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River, MA. After seeing to the graduation of the first four year graduates, he enrolled in Northeastern University to obtain a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies degree in Educational Administration. He obtained his CAGS and was hired as the Assistant Principal of Con Val High School in Peterborough, NH in 1971. At that time he retired from his apostolic duties to take on this position and was later laicized by the Vatican.
In 1973 he became the first building principal at the Memorial School in Rindge, NH. After 17 years in this position, he retired to his home in Jaffrey. Later, in 2009, he moved to Keene to be closer to public transportation and the medical facilities that he needed at that time.
Leisure moments were spent playing piano and doing all sorts of handyman chores around the house, especially woodworking items. He also developed a fondness for gardening and was especially proud of his tulips and Rose of Sharon.
His parents, elder sister: Marie-Therese and a younger brother: Roger all died earlier. He is survived by distant relatives in California and Washington State, as well as by his many close friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, August 24, 2018, at St. Bernard Catholic Church. There will be no public calling hours. Burial will be private, at a later date, in the family plot at St. Joseph Cemetery in E. Chelmsford, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made, in Mr. Cornellier’s name, to the “Shelter from the Storm” (www.shelterfromthestormnh.org), PO Box 257, Jaffrey, NH 03452.