Patricia R. Cornell passes away

May 11, 2009, 1:50 p.m. (ET)

 Patricia Rainsford Cornell, 83, a resident of Cape May Point, NJ, passed away on April 28th of cancer.  Pat was a well-known badminton tournament organizer for many years in the Philadelphia area.  She and her former husband, John Cornell, ran the Mid-Atlantic Badminton Championships for decades until others took it over in the mid-1980s.  They also ran a U.S. Open, several National Championships, and other international competitions, including a Uber Cup event.  In addition, Pat coached a junior badminton program for thirty years, and taught badminton at Swathmore College, Springside School and Germantown Friends School.

 Pat grew up in Rosemont PA, outside of Philadelphia.  During World War II she did nurse's training at Bryn Mawr Hospital, and later worked as a physician's assistant, an insurance broker, a real estate agent, and an agent for a classical guitarist and a jazz band. Pat also wrote poetry and children's stories, including a book that was published in Guatemala.  She was an excellent bridge player, and played classical guitar.  And of course, she spent many hours on badminton and tennis courts over the years.

 Over the last 15 years, Pat lived much of the year in Antigua, Guatemala, as well as Cape May Point, where she taught English to Guatemalans and volunteered at the library.  She was an avid traveler all her life, with extensive trips in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, including trips to Greece, Italy, Africa and Guatemala in recent years. 

Pat is survived by her two children and their families, Diane Cornell and Margaret Flinner and Peter and Jo Cornell, her sister Janet Graham, and brother Edward Rainsford.  She will also be remembered warmly by many friends in her Badminton, Cape May Point, Guatemala, and Philadelphia circles. 

A memorial service will be held for Pat in Washington DC on May 16th at 11am at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington DC, 20036 (corner of Massachusetts and 18th Street).  A separate service will be held for those in the Cape May area on Saturday, May 23rd, at 4pm at St Peters by the Sea Episcopal Church, 102 Lake Drive, Cape May Point, NJ 08212.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to USA Badminton, One Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909.