Rose Claire Cornely, who worked for MGH Environmental Services for 34 years, died Nov. 30 at the age of 86. Though slight in stature, Cornely will be remembered for her larger-than-life smile and for the kind words she offered to everyone she encountered.
“She was a sweetheart, and she was a great employee,” says
Bill Banchiere, director of Environmental Services. “She always had a smile on her face, and everybody just adored her. She was like everybody’s grandmother. Every year she worked in our department, she would receive either a perfect attendance award or ‘near’ perfect attendance recognition.”
Cornely, who retired from the MGH in 1993, returned to work part time in 1996. In 2001, when the MGH was named to the AARP’s list of top employers for workers over the age of 50, Cornely shared her thoughts about the honor and her long-time commitment to the hospital. “I’ve been working at the MGH since 1979. I left for two years, but came back part time because I don’t like sitting around doing nothing. At 80 years old, I like to do everything for myself. I still cook and clean and do my own shopping, and I like coming to the hospital because of all of the nice people I work with.”
Jane Marshall, technical director of the MGH Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory, says the hospital was like Cornely’s second home. “The MGH and her church were very important places to her. She was always so pleasant and positive and always asked about you and your family.”
Several other members of the lab shared their thoughts, remembering her as “having a positive spirit and an inspirational work ethic, as a wonderful person and a responsive employee who would do anything to improve service.” Marshall says a fond, lasting image of Cornely will be the way she tilted her head and smiled during conversation.
Cornely is survived by her brother, George Vernicier Cornely, and sister, Marie-Marthe Bouchard,
both of Haiti, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services have been held.
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