Thomas Nebo Cornish, 81, a retired Washington pharmacist who also was a research chemist for the Navy Department, died of complications related to hypertension Nov. 2 at Kent and Queen Anne's Hospital in Chestertown, Md.

From the 1950s until his civilian retirement in 1978, Mr. Cornish was a partner in the operation of the Globe pharmacy in Washington, where he worked nights and on weekends. In this period he also was a research chemist at the David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center laboratory in Annapolis. He retired there in 1981.

He was born in Cambridge, Md., and graduated from Morgan State University. During World War II he was an Army medical corpsman, serving in analytical laboratories at Army hospitals. He received a certificate in clinical pathology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. While serving in the Army, he studied parapsychology at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

After his military service, he graduated from Howard University's college of pharmacy.

Mr. Cornish was a former president of the National Pharmaceutical Association, and he helped establish the Student National Pharmaceutical Association.

He had been a member of the administrative board, the board of trustees and United Methodist Men at Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington.

He moved from Washington to Worton, Md., in January this year.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Thelma Oretta Murray Cornish of Worton. A stepdaughter, Barbara Chichester, died in 1998.