Cornelia “Cornie” Ellwein

Cornelia “Cornie” Ellwein
Date of Birth: July 20, 1921
Died on: August 26, 2018

Libertyville, IL-Graveside service for Cornelia “Cornie” Ellwein, 97, of Libertyville, IL will be 11:00 am, Monday, September 17, 2018 at Morningside Cemetery at Roscoe, SD. Rev. Raymond Pomplun will officiate.

Cornie passed away peacefully on August 26, 2018, at Radford Green Health Care in Lincolnshire, IL, surrounded by the love of her family.

Cornie was born July 20, 1921, to Jacob and Anna (Nehlich) Mayer near Roscoe, SD, and attended rural schools in Edmunds County. She studied piano under several teachers, including Merritt Johnson at Northern State College in Aberdeen.

She married Erwin F. Ellwein on May 12, 1947. While living on the Ellwein family farm near Roscoe, Cornie taught piano lessons in Bowdle and Roscoe. They retired to Ipswich, SD, in 1977, where she continued teaching piano. Cornie volunteered her time at the Ipswich Nursing Home, where she played the piano for entertainment, as well as church services. She also served as the church organist at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Ipswich.

Cornie enjoyed many years of camping, fishing, hunting and doing woodcrafts with Erwin. They also enjoyed world-wide travel together. Cornie was talented in her hobbies of oil painting and crocheting. Erwin passed away on September 1, 2001.

Cornie moved to Libertyville, Illinois, in 2013, where her daughters Cynthia and Sue lived. She enjoyed many special times with her children: Leon (Sarah) of La Jolla, CA, Sue (Jon) of Libertyville, IL, Neil (Mary) of Williamsburg, VA, and Cynthia of Gurnee, IL; her seven grandchildren; and her thirteen great grandchildren. She also has a brother, Howard Mayer (Carole), of Aberdeen, SD.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and three brothers.

Cornie was a woman of faith who touched the lives of all who knew her; she lived life to the fullest.

A memorial service will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church in Gurnee, IL, on September 4, 2018.

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.


  1. Pamela Roesch Keim says:

    Cornie was also my piano teacher and it was so nice to get reacquainted with her when I moved to Ipswich in 1999. Her energy and love for living was an inspiration.

  2. Carol Schaffner says:

    Such fond memories of Cornie!! She taught 2 of my children piano lessons along with the myriad of others. We really enjoyed coming to their home and listening to the kids play and visiting with Erwin and then Cornie when they were done! She always shared some fresh baked goods and we enjoyed talking about our shared love of canning! She was a special lady and will be missed by many here in Ipswich.

  3. Lory Bretsch says:

    Every Saturday afternoon they welcomed me into their home for lessons. I think of them often! Very kind and genuine people! PRAYERS… Lory Perrion Bretsch.

  4. Janet Fuhrmann says:

    It is a sad day because there is less music in the world! She taught my daughters piano lessons and they still have fond memories of her. Blessings to you all!


  5. Marilyn Bender says:

    Cornie taught my sister and me piano. I remember going to the Trefz’s house is Roscoe for lessons. I know she taught my brother’s children also. She was not only a piano teacher but had become a friend of the family. At our parents 40th anniversary she played the piano. She was truly a gifted lady with music and friendship. Heaven truly gained an angel. God Bless all of you and I am so happy that she was able to spend the last couple years with you and your families.

  6. Deb Erlenbusch says:

    She was my piano teacher! She was very patient and kind. I loved music because of her!

  7. Corinne Jameson says:

    My deepest sympathy to the Ellwein family. Cornie and I were friends and fellow piano players/teachers in Ipswich for many years. (I also studied under Merritt Johnson.)
    We had a lot of fun with our names – people called her Corinne and me Cornie!! We shared many laughs over that!
    I always enjoyed our visits. Cornie was a very upbeat, positive lady who really loved kids!
    Prayers for the family,
    Corinne Jameson
    Ipswich, SD

  8. Tim and Cheryl Dewald says:

    Tim and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to you all on the loss of your mother. Cornie was a wonderfully unique woman, who lived life to the fullest. She and Erv were very good to us, and we always enjoyed the pictures and stories of their many travels when we made our yearly land payments. Prayers to the Ellwein family during this difficult time.

    Tim & Cheryl Dewald
    Seattle, WA

  9. Stefanie Seidschlaw Waldren says:

    Cornie was so very special to me and my family! She was my piano teacher from age 6 to 16. I have one of her paintings hung in my house. RIP dear Cornie! A life well lived indeed. Her reunion with her beloved Erv was surely sweet.

    Love to the Ellwein Family,

    Overland Park, KS

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