Wilma Bower Cornia


Wilma Bower Cornia passed away on Friday, Dec. 11, in Chandler, Arizona.

Wilma was born on Dec. 15, 1923, in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, to George William and Clara Malissa (Campbell) Bower, and was the sixth of seven children. She grew up in Chesterfield, Idaho.

She met Gordon Claude Cornia in the summer of 1940 at the Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch outside of Woodruff, Utah, where they were both employed. They were married on Aug. 21, 1942. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on May 29, 1967. After their marriage, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and lived there while Claude served at Fort Knox during WWII. They moved to Evanston in 1946 and lived there the rest of their time together. Wilma went to live in Gilbert, Arizona, with her daughter, Carol, in 2018.

Family was at the center of Wilma’s life. Her love for her family members was deep and unconditional. She lovingly cared for those who were ill or hurt and those who needed someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on and maybe a warm cookie. Spending time with family was at or near the top of the list of favorite things for her. A visit from any family member made her day and planned overnight stays brought a flurry of cooking. She especially enjoyed family reunions that included multiple days of visiting and eating with loved ones — the more people, visiting and eating, the better.

She opened her heart to the many friends, spouses and significant others of her descendants that crossed her threshold, and her “Grammie Rolls” were loved by all who visited her house around the holidays. Friends and neighbors were cared for as well. Anyone suffering the loss of a loved one or other hurt got a visit and a casserole, and later check-ins to see how they were doing.

She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which she served in many capacities, including several times as Primary President where she led the children’s program for the ward. Wilma’s faith brought her strength and comfort throughout her life. She always loved children and worked with them in the church, 4-H and the Cub Scouts. She was a voracious reader (once she slowed down and allowed herself the time) and was an avid walker. She was an enthusiastic Evanston Red Devil and Utah Jazz fan. She worked at the R and G Drugstore and at Evanston Drug where she enjoyed interacting with the people in the community.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Claude Cornia; her daughter, Claudia Jean Bills; son, Gerald (Jerry) Cornia; her parents and all of her siblings.

She is survived by her daughter, Carol Ashton (Denis); sons, Paul Cornia (Julie) and Mike Cornia; 14 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and 29 great-great-grandchildren.

She loved and was loved by many and will be missed.

In keeping with the current health situation and Wilma’s concern for others, no services will be held at this time.

In lieu of flowers, please donate (tax deductable) to the Bear River Greenway, a place Wilma loved to walk: BEAR Project Inc., 275 Saddle Ridge Rd., Evanston, WY, 82930.

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