Glendale city commissioner dead at 79

Gary Cornell, a city commissioner who played a role in doling out millions in federal grants for public projects and social services, died Friday morning in his home, his wife said. He was 79.

Although the official cause of death was not yet been determined, his wife, Kimberly Cornell, said she believes his failing health played a role.

Gary Cornell had suffered from heart issues and underwent abdominal surgery a month ago, his wife said.

Kimberly Cornell added that she does not plan on having a funeral service for her husband so others don't have to feel the pain she's been struck with.

"I just want to bury him, that's it," she said.

Gary Cornell was known for an affinity for public service and his desire to help. As federal grants for nonprofit social services shrank during his time on the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee, Cornell was troubled by cutting funds from organizations that serve the needy.

He served as chairman of the advisory committee this year.

"His heart was always in the right place," said fellow commissioner Efrain Olivares.

Kimberly Cornell said he was involved with public service because he had a passion for helping the community. That dedication led Councilman Frank Quintero to appoint him to the committee.

"He was a wonderful man. He was very dedicated to the city of Glendale," Quintero said. "It was a pleasure knowing him throughout the years."

In addition to his wife, Gary Cornell is survived by his son, Troy Cornell.


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