New Albany, MS– Mary Elizabeth Giles Cornelius, 91, died January 12, 2017 at her residence. She was born July 23, 1925 in Union County to the late Paul Nance and Annabelle Smith Giles. She is the widow of William Thomas Cornelius.
Mary was a graduate of New Albany High School and received an Elementary Education degree from MSCW in 1947. She taught school from 1947 to 1957. In 1957 Tom and Mary, as co-owners,opened Cornelius Equipment Company which served as the John Deere and GMC dealerships in Union County for 51 years. They were original members of the Oaks Country Club where she enjoyed playing golf.
Mary was longtime member of the First Baptist Church where she headed many committees and was a member of the Susan Feather Sunday School class. She was an original member of the New Albany Mother’s Club and was involved in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Mary also held the honor of being one of 50 women selected as Outstanding Business Leading Women of 2004, when she was 78 years old.
Services will be held Monday, January 16, at First Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. with Bro. Greg Spencer and Bro. Tom Sumrall officiating. Visitation will be held 9:00 until service time. Burial will be in New Albany City Cemetery.
Survivors include her daughter, Kathy Cornelius Pace (Buck); 2 sons, Bob and Bill Cornelius; 2 brothers, James Huey and Bobby Giles; 6 grandchildren, Rob Cornelius, Rebecca Cornelius, Anna Polsgrove (Russ), Will Cornelius, Eric Pace (Nicole) and Erin Pace; 4 great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sister, Billie Ruth Tabor.
In lieu of flowers the family request memorials be sent to Yocona Area Council Boy Scouts of America, 505 Air Park Rd., Tupelo, MS 38801; Sanctuary Hospice Tupelo, 5159 W. Main, Tupelo, MS 38801 and First Baptist Church Building Fund, 200 Bankhead St., New Albany, MS 38652