Kenneth T. Cornelius, physicist, dies at 88

Kenneth T. Cornelius
physicist

Kenneth T. Cornelius, a research physicist who retired in 1980 from the Naval Research and Development Center at Carderock, died July 12 at his home in Montgomery Village. He was 88.

The cause was a heart attack, said his daughter, Mary Cornelius.

For 25 years, Mr. Cornelius worked at the Carderock facility, where his research specialties included containment of underwater explosions aboard submarines.

Kenneth Thompson Cornelius was born in St. Louis. For seven years in the 1930s, he lived in a Denver orphanage with his younger sister while their mother searched for work during the Depression. The siblings came to Washington by train in 1938 to join their mother after she found employment at the Treasury Department.

During World War II, Mr. Cornelius served in the Army Air Forces. He graduated from George Washington University in 1957 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

His avocations included riding motorcycles, and in the 1950s, he made several cross-country motorcycle trips.

His first wife, Rosemary Schaefer, whom he married in 1961, died in 1977. His second wife, Wilburta Hallowell, whom he married in 1984, died in 2012.

Survivors include a daughter from his first marriage, Mary Cornelius of Englewood, Colo.; a stepson, Douglas Krauss of Montgomery Village; and three grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes

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