Sarah Neill Cornish (Sally)


Sarah Neill Cornish (Sally), 79, of Independence, passed away on September 24, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.  She was a devoted, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and teacher.  She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Sally Neill was born August 25, 1941 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She enjoyed a wonderful childhood with her parents Dick and Ruth Neill and siblings Judi and Rich in Runnemede, NJ.  She attended Triton High School and was named the school’s first Female Athlete of the Year.

Sally attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa and Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, Missouri.  During this time, she earned a bachelors in Elementary Education and met her husband Verle.

Sally married Verle Cornish shortly after her graduation and, one year later, moved to Pennsylvania where Mrs. Cornish continued her teaching career while Verle pursued a master’s degree.

In 1968, Sally’s teaching career paused while she turned her attention to her own children. She became a mother first, to Sarah Jane then, to Rebecca Jean.  In 1977, the family moved to Texas and welcomed Peter Verle to the family.  

Mrs. Cornish resumed teaching in 1985 at Advent Episcopal School in Stafford, Texas.  She taught second grade and then moved to first grade the next year, impacting hundreds of students, until the family moved to Independence, Missouri in 1996.

Mrs. Cornish became the second grade teacher at Center Place Restoration School in 1997, providing education and ministry to her students until her retirement in 2014.

Sally Cornish lived a fruitful life full of love, guidance, education, and ministry.  She was often outspoken for the things she cared about most.   She spent many years providing ministry alongside her husband of 47 years.  She spent her life in the pursuit of her Heavenly Father until she succumbed to the frailties of the body and a life well lived.

Sally was preceded in death by her parents Richard and Margaret Ruth Neill and her husband Verle Cornish.  She is survived by her daughters Sarah and Rebecca (Amr); son Peter (Erin) and their children Eli, Millie, Esther, and Adella; sister Judi (Ed) Gizelbach; brother Richard (Robin) Neill;  sisters-in-law Valdeen (Lowell) Wooton and Verna (Dave) Cornish; brother-in-law Vaughn (Kathleen) Cornish; and many nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held at Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch October 4, 2020 at 2pm.


  1. Bruce and Liz Scully on September 29, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Bless you all.

  2. Betty Demara on September 28, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you for all your years of dedication to teaching children, and especially for being such a great 1st grade teacher to my daughter. I loved working with you at Advent Episcopal school. Rest In Peace.

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