biographical data

Joseph F. Cornelius biography: 13 things about Clearwater, Florida banker, civic leader

Joseph Franklin Cornelius was born in Spokane, Washington, United States to Joseph Morand Cornelius and Freida Eike. Joseph Morand was born in California, USA while Eike was born Petra Jacobsdotter in Eike Farms, Fister, Rogaland, Norway.

Joseph Franklin and his wife Mirth R. Cornelius have two children together. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. He has two younger brothers namely Elmer Morand Cornelius and Stanley Robert Cornelius and one younger sister named Eleanor Cornelius. In 1926, their father died at the age of 69.
  2. In 1932, he and Mirth got married. Their daughter Karen Cornelius Crown, who is married to Ronald Charles Crown, lives in Belleair, Florida, USA while their son Joseph Franklin Cornelius Jr. lives in Akron, Ohio, USA.
  3. He was an Old National Bank of Spokane executive. He owned an advertising agency that sold syndicated advertising material to banks before World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945.
  4. On June 15, 1941, he attended the wedding of his brother Elmer and Alice Pauline Gibson in Spokane.
  5. In 1952, he moved to Tampa, Florida to be executive vice president of Marine Bank and Trust Co. Tampa. In 1957, he became president.
  6. In 1960, he was named president of Bank of Clearwater so he moved to Clearwater, Florida.
  7. In 1964, he and Mirth founded the Joseph F. Cornelius Family Foundation Inc., which disburses about 70 grants to non-profit organizations annually. Its only public grant is the Outstanding Policeman of the Year award that goes to a police officer in Clearwater.
  8. On November 30, 1965, his mother died at her home in Bigfork, Flathead County, Montana, USA at the age of 80.
  9. He was a board member of Morton Plant Hospital Foundation. He and Mirth co-chaired the 1968 Morton Plant Hospital Charity Ball. In 1968, he co-founded St. Paul’s School in Clearwater.
  10. In 1974, he retired from banking but stayed on as a board member of Bank of Clearwater. He was an advisory board director after the bank was bought by First Florida until 1992.
  11. In 1994, he received the inaugural Clearwater Fraternal Order of Police Citizen of the Year Award. In 1995, he was named a lifetime honorary member of the Florida Sheriff’s Association.
  12. On August 18, 1996, his sister Eleanor died at the age of 78.
  13. On March 30, 1999, he died at the Oak Bluffs Retirement Center and Nursing Facility in Clearwater at the age of 91.
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