Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Obituary ~ Chris Bandit Dredge Cornell
March 19, 1961 ~ December 14, 2006

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
December 27, 2006

SENTINEL BUTTE, N.D. — Chris Bandit Cornell, 45, of Sentinel Butte, N.D., formerly of Mason City, died Thursday (Dec. 14, 2006) at the Deaconess Billings Clinic in Billings, Mont.

Her funeral was held at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006, at the Chapel of the Silvernale-Silha Funeral Home in Beach, N.D., with celebrant Sandy Silha officiating. Burial was in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Sentinel Butte, N.D.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at: www.silvernale-silhafuneralhome.com.

Chris was born on March 19, 1961 in Iowa, and was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Dredge. She was raised and educated in Iowa. Chris resided in Iowa until moving to Taylor, North Dakota where she worked on a ranch. Chris had also worked as a paramedic in Mason City, Iowa and was a phlebotomist in Mason City and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, North Dakota. She moved to Sentinel Butte in 1997 and was united in marriage to Paul Cornell on September 28, 1999 in Beach. They resided in Sentinel Butte where Chris worked with her husband delivering mail on the Sentinel Butte mail route.

Chris especially loved animal of all kinds, including her dogs, cats, birds, horses and baby calves. She enjoyed fishing, bird watching, gardening and watching scarey movies.

She was a member of the Iowa Board of Paramedics.

She was preceded in death by her adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Dredge.

Chris is survived by her husband, Paul, of Sentinel Butte.

Life Tribute Service:

“A death has occurred and everything is changed by the event. We are painfully aware that life can never be the same again, that yesterday is over, that relationships, once rich, have ended.

But there is another way to look upon this truth. If life went on the same without the presence of the one who died, we could only conclude that the life we remember made no contribution, filled no space, meant nothing.

The fact that this person left behind a place that cannot be filled is a high tribute to this individual. Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost, but never after the loss of a treasure.” (by Paul Orion)

Paul Cornell has lost his treasure, he has lost his wife, Chris Cornell. Chris’ sudden and unexpected death has left Paul with a large hole in his heart and a huge void in his life. To know Chris and Paul was to recognize that they were meant to be together, that they made each other complete; that not only were they husband and wife but also best friends and companions. Each truly enjoyed the other, they were happy. Perhaps all of this meant so much to them because each was a bit of a loner before they met. Paul’s sister, Barbara, recalls meeting Chris for the first time and seeing Chris walking up the steps with Paul, wearing a big smile. Chris looked so happy. Barbara and her husband Bruce couldn’t help but like Chris right from the start. Chris’s life from then just got better. Chris didn’t talk much about her life before North Dakota. Sheila Marie, one of Chris’ first friends in Medora, North Dakota, explained that Chris had a dream…move west, find a cowboy, and live happily everafter. Chris had moved to North Dakota from the East coast for a job at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, North Dakota. Chris was a phlebotomist and had also worked previously as a paramedic. Once she got settled in North Dakota, Chris went looking for a horse. She ran into Sheila’s parents who sent Chris down the road to their daughter’s place, knowing Sheila had horses, some of which were for sale. Chris saw a black and white paint horse and knew immediately it was the horse she had to have. Chris approached Sheila about buying the paint horse named Looker, and Sheila said the horse had been consigned to be sold and was very expensive. Chris insisted she would buy Looker. Sheila, not knowing Chris, said she would only take cash or a cashier check. Chris told Sheila not to do anything, she would be back tomorrow with the money. And Chris did come back. That began a friendship of kindred spirits. Both Chris and Sheila loved horses and the cowboy way. Chris would help Sheila sell tack at area fairs. They rode in the Horsefest parade in Taylor, North Dakota together and just had a grand time. Sheila really took to the way Chris liked everyone she met and found Chris to be fun-loving, trusting and kindhearted. Today, Sheila is wearing a certain jacket to honor Chris and the memory of their friendship. And Chris, well, she began living her dream. After a few years, Chris started to move away from her medical ties and went to work on a ranch at Taylor, North Dakota, because of her love of animals. A job at the mall in Dickinson came along, but living in Dickinson was too expensive, so Chris found a place to reside in Sentinel Butte, North Dakota, living in a rural setting, which she preferred, and driving back and forth to Dickinson for work. Paul was the mail carrier for rural Sentinel Butte, and Chris and Paul first met when he occasionally had to deliver certified letters and packages to her door. The spark was lit and on September 28, 1999, Chris and Paul were married in a civil ceremony in Beach, ND. Chris began working with Paul on his 150 mile mail delivery route. Their time was spent working together as mail carriers and then going home to their six acres outside of Sentinel Butte where they gardened and raised animals. Chris loved animals. She always had a dog or two, the latest being a cocker spaniel and a springer spaniel, Buffy and Dakota. Horses were a must, and Chris had a couple of horses, Tuf and of course, Looker. Chris also had birds, a lovebird and a cockatoo in the house and a myriad of feathered friends outdoors that she set up feeders for and would birdwatch from the porch. Chris kept a book with different types of birds close by to refer to when watching all these birds use the feeders. There was always at least one house cat and several cats in the quonset. Chris loved caring for her animals and hated seeing dogs tied up in yards or cats and dogs running loose. Paul tells about driving home one day and seeing an injured hawk in the road ditch. Chris and he stopped and she gathered up the hawk and took it home. After covering the hawk and giving it some care, she called the Fish and Game to report it. They told her it was on the endangered species list and she should have left it in the ditch. She suggested they come and pick it up from her and offered to give them directions to her place. The game warden replied he knew just where she was as he had the house in sight via satellite. That made Chris very uncomfortable, as she had always liked the feeling of privacy of rural life. By the time the fish and game arrived to get the hawk, it had died, and they weren’t too pleased with her handling of an endangered species. But it was Chris’ way to help any creature in need. If Chris could do you a good turn, she did it. Another of the animals Chris cared for was baby calves. She would go to market in the fall and buy these calves, bottle feed them if necessary and get them ready for market and then sell them. If you had a chance to view the memory board Paul put together, many of these birds and animals are shown there pictured with Chris. Chris also had a love of gardening. She could hardly wait to get outside in the spring and would have her tomatoes and cucumbers started in the house. As soon as the ground would thaw, Chris was out planting. Tomatoes were her favorite. This last summer, her friend, Fran, came from Iowa for a visit. Fran showed Chris how to do canning and Chris could hardly wait for next summer to do canning with her garden produce. Chris would also order trees from the ASCS office to put in each spring. She was trying to grow a nice shelterbelt of firs and cottonwoods similar to what she had seen on some of the farms and ranches on the mail route. Chris spent hours on her garden and trees, dragging around hoses to water with and just tending to these plants. She also liked cactus and was getting those started both in the house and outside. Chris was a versatile woman and liked to do things herself. She did carpentry projects, she enjoyed painting the rooms in the house, and she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty doing mechanical repairs to her pick-up, such as changing oil and doing maintenance work on the vehicles. She and Paul had gotten a load of bricks and were planning to put in a large bar-b-que pit this next year. Chris was really getting into cooking, especially bar-b-queing, with steak being her favorite. Another side of Chris’s versatility was her artistic side. Sheila and her parents still have artwork on their walls done by Chris. One of the mediums Chris used was horseshoes that she would decorate with leather, beads, and feathers and sell in Medora or at the Taylor Horsefest. Many were given to friends. Chris had many interests that she could pursue right at home or near home. Chris and Paul were scary movie buffs. Freddie Krueger, Jason, Halloween, and sci-fi flicks were among their favorites. Chris also spent time on her computer getting weather info and checking out E-Bay. Chris liked to shop on E-Bay. One of the more interesting purchases was four crab fishing buoys that she intended to decorate the bathroom wall with. She had watched a program on the Discovery channel about crabbing and thought they were a great buy. If Chris had a collection of anything, it would have to be the wolf T-shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts that she and her sister-in-law, Barbara collected and wore. Both enjoyed doing this and comparing their wolves. Leisure activities enjoyed were also done at or near home. Tent camping on Sentinel Butte and fishing at Camel Hump Lake with Paul and friends were favorites. Chris and her friend Judy Vincent liked to target shoot tin cans with .22’s. And Chris had a four wheeler she would race around on for some excitement. But all of these things were done close to the home she loved and with the man she loved. Christmas was her favorite time of year. Chris loved to decorate the house with lights. Paul likened it to the Griswald’s home in the movie “Christmas Vacation”. And she enjoyed the snow of the season although Paul was trying to cure her of that. It is especially sad that Chris’ death came during the holiday season. Initially, Chris was suffering flu-like symptoms. Then, one day, Paul found her on the floor, and she went into the hospital. No one expected she would soon be gone. No one expected that this 45 year old woman who was living her dream would die. But “her death has occurred and everything is changed by the event. We are painfully aware that life can never be the same again, that yesterday is over, that relationships, once rich, have ended. Life …can never be the same after the loss of a treasure.” Let us now listen to a song Chris once requested Paul have played in the event of her death.

Song: “Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphy

Celebrant: Closing

Never assume a friend wants to mourn alone. Paul will need you in the coming weeks and months. When something brings Chris to mind, drop Paul a note or card, or call him and share your thoughts of Chris with him. Let Paul know what a significant impact Chris had on your life and that you remember her. Remember the 1sts – the 1st holidays, the 1st birthday, the 1st anniversary for at these times, Chris’ absence will be felt with a fresh sense of loss. Be very present during these times and honor the memory of Chris. The following words were on the funeral program of an important and famous woman and they bear repeating today:

>center>“You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love and friendship you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow, because of yesterday.

You can remember her, and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory, and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

This concludes Chris Cornell’s life tribute service.

We will proceed to St. Michael’s Cemetery in Sentinel Butte, North Dakota for Chris Cornell’s committal service.

Thank you for your presence here today.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2016



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