Keith Edward Cornwall passed away peacefully at his home, with family around him, Saturday morning, September 28, 2019. He was born to Alex and Nellie (Slate) Cornwall and was the 4th child of seven children.
Keith was born in Emmett, Idaho, on February 14, 1925. He attended schools in Emmett. He was a hard worker and during grade school at the country school he attended, he started the coal furnace and kept it stoked to have the school warm for the students when they arrived. At the end of high school he joined the Navy and went to Farragut in northern Idaho for Boot Camp and then to Moscow for Radio School. Keith graduated in the top 10 of his class. He could send code, using telegraphy at 60 words a minute and receive it at 35 words a minute. Keith could really pound that typewriter to decipher the received code. He was then sent overseas to Guam. He helped break codes during the beginning of the WWII that helped know where the enemy was. He was injured at the end of the war and came home on a hospital ship.
Keith returned to his home in Emmett. Soon after he returned home, the family moved to Payette and he went to work at the cannery and later Safeway there. In June of that year he met Betty Kinnaman at a local dance. They dated 4 months and were married in the little Methodist Church in Fruitland, which was Betty’s hometown, on October 6, 1946. They made their home in various places always moving up to better things. Ten months later they had their first child, a boy, Larry, they were so proud of. Twenty months after Larry was born they had a little girl, Sherry.
In approximately 1949 -1950, he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency, to join the organization because of his Navy radioman/code experience and skills. The job was in Washington DC, so the family moved to nearby Virginia. The job took the family overseas 4 times. They spent time in Cyprus, England and twice in Iran. While in Iran they adopted their third child, Tamara.
While in Virginia the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Later they came to Idaho on vacation and were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple.
In 1973, Keith retired from the CIA. They moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where their son Larry lived, spending 2 years there. They then moved back to Idaho settling in Caldwell. Keith was a hard worker and loved to help people in the area. He also built on to their home when he was able to. He loved his family dearly. He served a mission with Betty in South Carolina and Georgia. He and Betty also served in the Boise Idaho Temple when it first opened. Keith was a good Home Teacher and cared for his families. He was always there to help in any way he could. Keith was a wonderful husband, grandfather and great grandfather. His family was so important to him. He loved the Lord and knew He was there for him to turn to. He had a great testimony.
He is survived by his wife Betty of 74 years, a son Larry (Renee), Caldwell, Idaho, a daughter Tammy Conklin, Caldwell, Idaho, 20 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren, 11 great great-grandchildren with one on the way, one brother, Jerry Cornwall, Prineville, Oregon, and a sister Shirley Herman, Payette, Idaho. He was preceded in death by his daughter Sherry Nickel, 4 siblings and his parents. Keith will surely be missed, such a wonderful man.
There will be a viewing on Friday, October 11, 2019 for family from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and a viewing for friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Dakan Funeral Chapel, 504 S Kimball Avenue, Caldwell, Idaho 83605. Funeral services will be Saturday, October 12, 2019. A viewing will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. with funeral services beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2808 S Montana Avenue, Caldwell, Idaho 83605. Interment will be at Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell immediately following services. A luncheon will then be held at the church building at 11792 Linden Rd, Caldwell, Idaho.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
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