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Ruth  Olive Cornils

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“Ruth and I were special friends in childhood, as neighbors, and later when we both lived in Sterling raising our families. I will always remember...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Jeanette Meling - Batavia, IL

“Mrs. Cornils was my second grade teacher and she was very special to me. I remember my friend, Julie Gann, and I made jewelry for her out of clover...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Megan Tooker - Johnston, IA

“Dear Cornils Family, Our daughter was fortunate to have had Ruth as a teacher at Jefferson School many years ago, and as parents we were elated...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Nancy and Larry Tooker

“My thoughts & prayers are you Lois, as well as your family ”
4 of 6 | Posted by: Kathleen Eggers - Battington

“I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs Cornils was such a warm and friendly person, always smiling. God bless your family. ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: Sara Zawila - Mundelein, IL

“Condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: Inese Cederbaums - Pearl river


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Ruth Olive (Hill) Cornils, 94, of Sterling, passed away on July 22, 2016 at her home surrounded by her loving family following a brief illness.

Born January 12, 1922 just south of Creston, Illinois, Ruth was the fifth of six children of Oscar and Olive (Ravnaas) Hill. Upon graduation from Northern Illinois Teacher's College (now NIU) with an Associate degree in 1939 Ruth taught elementary grades in Lee Center, Esmond and Chadwick Illinois. In the 1970s she returned to NIU to earn her Bachelor of Arts in 1975.

On June 22, 1946 she married Edward Lyle Cornils of Dixon. Shortly thereafter they moved to Sterling where she taught mainly at Jefferson School, mostly second grade.

Living in Sterling for more than six decades, she was an active member of the community, serving not only as a grade school teacher, but also helping those in need. She was a faithful member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Sterling, where she was active in various circles, making quilts and school kits for Lutheran World Relief and was one-time Superintendent of the Sunday School. She volunteered at Good Neighbor Emergency Care and PADS. She was a member of the Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society, the Norwegian American Historical Society, and the Community Concert Association. She was very interested in assistance to Native Americans and taught English as a Second Language to Chinese and Mexican immigrants. She loved her friends and family and was proud of her Norwegian heritage. She happily spent her last years in the warm community at Morningside of Sterling.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband Edward; brothers, Orson Hill, Arvene Hill, Carl Hill and sister, Ann (Hill) Ohlinger; and two infant sons, John and Peter.

She is survived by one brother, O. Donald Hill; three children, Ray, Lois, and Margaret; sons-in-law David Bellville, Louis Torick, and Jack Luke; four step-grandchildren, one step-great granddaughter and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Sterling on Wednesday, July 27 at 11:00 am. A private burial will be at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Dixon. Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the McDonald Funeral Home in Sterling, 505 1st Avenue.

In lieu of flowers, Ruth has requested donations be sent to the Good Neighbor Emergency Center in Sterling or St. John's Lutheran Church in Sterling.