Tack Cornelius

Born: Tue., Jan. 1, 1946
Died: Wed., Jun. 13, 2018


1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Mon., Jun. 18, 2018
Location: Wards Funeral Home

Memorial Service

3:00 PM Mon., Jun. 18, 2018
Location: Wards Funeral Home

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Loye W “TACK” Cornelius, Jr
Jan 1, 1946 – June 13, 2018

Tack Cornelius of Gainesville passed away on June 13, 2018 at the age of 72.  He was the son of the late Loye W and Jeane Cornelius.

Tack wore many hats, both literally and figuratively.  He was a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a brother-in-law, a Christian, a Veteran, a neighbor, a friend to many, a voracious reader, a gifted story teller, and a talented writer.

Tack’s love of stories, and both the written and the spoken word, possibly began when he won his 6th grade spelling bee.  He nurtured that love into a career that began as a newspaper reporter for The Ardmorite in Oklahoma where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism.  He moved on to be a reporter for The Herald Leader in Lexington, KY and then became a speech writer for Martha Lane Collins, the first woman governor of Kentucky. He spent the last 14 years of his career in Atlanta as the speech writer for the CEO of Bellsouth.

One of the speeches he wrote during this time was “The Sea Turtles and the Sound of Humility” a commencement address delivered by highly regarded CEO John Clendenin to the graduating class of the University of South Carolina.  Like Tack, the speech was thoughtful and well-reasoned and provides a glimpse into what he would be too humble to call a brilliant mind.  In his words, “My argument is for a willingness to be humble.  It’s an argument that recognizes the twisting and often tormenting complexities of the world that none of us grasp as comprehensively as we like to think—whether we’re old hands or new college graduates.”

In his retirement Tack wrote several articles for The Atlanta Journal and The Gainesville Times.  He often worked with young people to encourage and guide them in their writing and public speaking skills.  He built gravity go karts for his grandchildren and loved to take them exploring in the woods to see what wonders of nature they could discover.  He dreamed up a treasure hunt for them on which he had as much fun as they did.  He got them small fishing poles, as one of the joys of his boyhood was fishing trips to the White River with his dad.  On these trips he shared a love of beautiful, red cardinals and their calls with his dad, and when he tried to spot them his dad would say look in the top of the tallest tree.

Tack was very strong and liked doing physical labor such as laying brick, a skill learned from his dad, and chopping firewood.  His physical and mental abilities were affected eight years ago when he was hit head on by a drunk driver.  The irony that he himself had been a friend of Bill’s for almost 30 years was not lost on him.  He spent many hours speaking to counseling groups so they could witness what their bad choices might cost others.  Please don’t drink and drive.

In recent years Tack enjoyed spending time in downtown Gainesville on the Square.  He loved good conversation.  You could almost always find him talking with friends, or strangers who often became friends.  He was naturally curious and always wanted to know the stories of people he met and liked sharing his.

Tack was one of a kind.  As a friend and colleague of his said, “There was no one else like him in the world.” He was a good man with a kind heart.  He always had time to listen, or help a neighbor, or give anyone in need his last dollar.  As another friend said, “I wish I could learn to love others the way he did.”

25 years ago Tack’s love of words lead him to the Shakespeare Tavern on Peachtree St. in Atlanta where he made many life-long friends and saw many wonderful productions.  His favorite paly was Hamlet; he attended one production 17 times.  As Horatio said at Hamlet’s death, “Good night sweet prince.  And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Tack was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Heather Cornelius, his sister Linda Clingerman, and his niece Codie Blakeman.

Tack is survived by his wife Janie Cornelius, his children Travis (Pam) Mize, Noah (Crystal) Friend, Shelby (Evan) Sears, & John Friend, his grandchildren, Zack & Lexi Mize, Noah, Dylan Therese, & Michael Friend, his sister Brenda Thompson, his brothers-in-law Jerry Clingerman & Mel Blakeman, his brothers and sisters-in-law Rick & Holly Pratt, Dave & Cindy Pratt, Jeff & Care Solsten, his nieces and nephews Elizabeth, Savannah, Tara, Hank, MacKensy, Jackson, Sara (John), Kelly (Stephanie), Katie, & Dorothy, and his Aunt June Montgomery.

Memorial services are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Monday June 18 at Ward’s Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Stephen Wood, Pastor Robby Williams and Rick Pratt will officiate. The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Pine Crest Baptist Church 2520 Mountain View Road Gainesville, GA 30504

Condolences may be made online at wardsfh.com Ward’s Funeral Home 758 Main Street S.W. Gainesville in charge of arrangements.

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Condolence Booklet

Elizabeth Chappelle
   Posted Thu June 14, 2018
Dear Janie,

Tack blessed me and many others with his kind, perceptive, learned presence for many years. He is missed and his memory is honored.


Elizabeth Chappelle

Paul Stanley
   Posted Thu June 14, 2018
Tack was a brilliant and thoughtful man. He was a friend and counselor. He had a way of speaking that made you listen. He could put words together in such a way that they could move mountains. He was not a big man, but his ideas were giant. He was equally at home with the rich and powerful or the poor and downtrodden. He overcame his troubles, and blessed our lives with his presence. He was my friend, and I will miss him.

Laura Cole
   Posted Fri June 15, 2018
Dear Janie- I am so sorry for this heartbreaking loss- Tack was a true gentleman. I remember him fondly, and just know the Tavern is always there for you!

Laura Cole

Charles Leslie
   Posted Fri June 15, 2018
Tack, is and always will be my friend. When I close my eyes I can see him down on Washington St. where I first met him at St. Luke on June 20th last year. I would come early just to set by this wise Man. I had just come out of Laurelwood Mental Health Clinic
and he was my first friend. Tack made me feel right at home and always had something interisting to talk about the incouragement he gave me will never be forgoten. Love and prayers to your wonderful Wife Janie and your intire family. God said and let their be light and for this lost sole it was Tack Cornelius. Thank you Charles L.

George Joseph Roshau II
   Posted Sun June 17, 2018
Sorry for your loss, and prayers for the family.

Tony Brown and Sharon Geschwind
   Posted Mon June 18, 2018
Janie, you and Tack will always hold a special place in our hearts. We share your sadness at his passing, and like you look forward to seeing Tack again when we go home. On most headstones, under a person's name are two dates (birth date and home-going date). Between them is a dash, and that's the most important thing because it represents everything in between. Tack made his dash count. I'm grateful I was able to share in a small part of it. Love and hope for tomorrow!

Richard Floersheim
   Posted Mon June 18, 2018
I will always remember Tack's contributions to AA Meetings and groups..I could have listened to him for hours. He was always called upon to add his experience, strength, and hope. He will be missed by all who knew him in the AA Community of Gainesville, Georgia.

Jennifer Hoodecheck
   Posted Mon June 18, 2018
Such a gift his caring spirit of service was to others, myself included. When I think of Tack, my heart smiles.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. May they feel the love and support that he gave so many.

Nora Roe
   Posted Tue June 19, 2018
God bless you and keep you after the loss of your precious husband. Tack was a blessing and a gift in my life and truly helped me during my recovery. I will truly miss him. My deepest sympathies.

Roderick & Desiree Sigler
   Posted Thu June 21, 2018
May your family find comfort as “the hearer of prayer” embraces their heart (Psalms 94:19. Lean on one another for strength and encouragement to stay strong during this most difficult time.

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