Cornelius Slegh, 83, Maple Island

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cornelius Neldon Slegh, 83, died on Friday, May 25, 2007 at his home in Maple Island following a short battle with cancer.

Funeral services for Slegh will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 29, at St. Paul&8217;s Lutheran Church in Hollandale. The Rev. Jeffrey Kuddes will officiate. Interment will be in the Hollandale Cemetery with military honors accorded by area servicemen&8217;s organizations. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Cornelius was born on December 13, 1923 in Pella, Iowa, the son of Peter and Cornelia (Fredrickson) Slegh. He was baptized and confirmed at the Oakland Lutheran Church. He worked at Hormel before enlisting in the Marine Corps in January of 1942. Cornie went through boot training at San Diego and advanced training at Camp Pendleton for Infantry and Demolition. He was in the First Marine Division G-3-11. During World War II, Cornie served in the South Pacific Theater battle of Guadalcanal, rested in Ballarette, Australia, then went to East New Guinea and Great Britain. He then rested again at Pavuva, fought in Peleiu (one of the bloodiest battles of World War II and one of the most forgotten), fought in Okinawa and then spent three and one half months in Northern China. Cornie was honorably discharged from the Great Lakes Naval and Marine Station in January of 1946 with the highest rank of Corporal. He earned three silver stars, five bronze stars and four citations. He was in inactive service for the next 10 years. After his military service, Cornie worked at Hormel again for a year and then due to health reasons began farming with his father.

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On Aug. 1, 1948, Cornie was married to Julia Babey at St. Paul&8217;s Lutheran in Hollandale. He was a member there and a trustee for many years. Cornie continued farming for many years, finally retiring because of poor vision. He was a member of the American Legion, the Blind Veterans Association, and the DAV. He was a life member of the VFW and the Marines First Division.

Survivors include his wife Julia, son Daryl and his wife Judith Slegh of Andover, daughter Patsy Slegh of Sauk Centre, son Robert and his wife Kathy Slegh of Hollandale; brothers Richard and his wife Helen Slegh of Hollandale, John and his wife JoAnn Slegh of Phoenix, Ariz.; daughter-in-law Judith Slegh of Hollandale; sisters-in-law Leona Taylor of Albert Lea, Alice and her husband Harold Pepperling of Hollandale, Irene Wagner of Portsmouth Va., and Lorraine Babey of Burnsville; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cornie was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-in-law and father-in-law, his son Gary, his brother Gerry, six brothers-in-law, three sisters-in-law and a niece.

Cornie served his country well. He will be missed by family and friends. Semper Fi.