Rich was born to J.R. "Dick" Cornell and Margery Scholes Cornell in Boise on Jan. 16, 1937. Rich attended Garfield Elementary and Boise High School. He graduated from Norte Dame University in 1959, where he was a Cadet Commander of the Army ROTC unit. He served in the Army Tank Corps at Fort Knox, Ky., as a special training officer.
Returning to Idaho, he worked for Swift & Co. Slaughter House before entering into the ranching business in 1961, when he became owner-operator of Camas Cattle Co. He operated that company in Mayfield and Little Camas for 46 years.
In 1969, he was given the distinguished honor of receiving the "Idaho Grassman of the Year" award.
Rich loved to fly and held a private pilot's license for many years.
Having attended ABS School in Indiana in 1964, he became one of the first ranchers in the State of Idaho to use artificial insemination and freeze-branding in a beef-cattle operation. Also, at that time he implemented the use of large, heavy duty construction tires for stock watering and hay feeding.
Representing the livestock industry, he served many years on the Animal Damage Control Board, serving ten southwestern counties.
He and his wife, Dixie, have been married for 40 years. They lived on their ranch at Mayfield until 1998, when they moved to Little Camas, where they built a beautiful log home, fulfilling a life-long dream.
Rich is survived by his wife, Dixie Lee Cornell, daughter Sondra Cornell of Mountain Home, brother Tom Cornell of California, stepson Robert Lee Malecki and his wife, Maritess, of Mountain Home, five wonderful grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jim and son Joe Cornell.
A memorial in Rich's name can be made to the Idaho Youth Ranch, P.O. Box 8538, Boise, ID 83707, or St. Vincent de Paul, Attn: Mike Gallagher, President, 3217 W. Overland Rd., Boise, ID 83705.