Cover photo for Jim F. Cornell's Obituary
Jim F. Cornell Profile Photo
1946 Jim 2023

Jim F. Cornell

November 9, 1946 — May 22, 2023

James (Jim) F. Cornell, 76, of Florida, formerly of Bismarck, passed away on Monday, May 22, 2023, in Florida.  

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 AM on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Corpus Christi Church, 1919 N. 2nd St., Bismarck. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7:00 PM at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, with rosary and remembrances starting at 7:00 PM.

Burial will be at Mandan Union Cemetery, Mandan.

James (Jim) Cornell, the son of Frank and Gertrude Cornell, grew up in Bellmore, N.Y., on Long Island. He graduated from Mepham High School. After a year of work, Jim decided to pursue education as a career and made a big move to North Dakota to attend Dickinson State College. There, Jim competed in football, wrestling, and baseball until he graduated in 1969. Any remaining desire to return home to New York was quickly extinguished when he accepted his first job at Simle Junior High School and met his new co-worker, Fran Leingang, on the first day. What started as a friendship led to a wedding in 1971 and 35 happy years of marriage as they made a life together in Bismarck, raising three children. They were best friends in all things.

Jim dedicated 36 years to his career with Bismarck Public Schools. Throughout his career, Jim taught special education and geography at Simle Junior High, Hughes Junior High, Century High School, and Wachter Middle School. When he was not in the classroom, Jim spent countless hours as a wrestling coach at both Bismarck High School and Century High School. He also loved his time coaching football at the middle school level.

After the difficult loss of Fran in 2006, Jim explored many places around the world about which he had taught during his career. He enjoyed life in the warmth of Florida with visits to and from family and friends. Jim loved his children, the ocean, wrestling, the Yankees, Notre Dame football, Paris, and, most of all, spending time with his three granddaughters. He will be remembered with love for his humor, storytelling, and generosity. 

As he did with most things in life, Jim battled cancer with a stubborn determination and hopeful optimism before eventually succumbing to his disease. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Patricia Ann, and his wife. He is survived by his two daughters, Paige Engberg (Aaron) and Lynn Cornell, and his son Ryan Cornell (Filipa Ligeiro); his granddaughters, Allison, Morgan, and Brooke Engberg, his greatest joys; his sister Linda DeMott (Richard); and his brothers and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jim F. Cornell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, June 2, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Parkway Funeral and Cremation Service

2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, ND 58503


Click to watch

A rosary with remebrances will begin at 7:00 PM.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, June 3, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Church of Corpus Christi

1919 N 2nd St, Bismarck, ND 58501


Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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