Fran Cornell

  • Born: October 10, 1947
  • Died: November 12, 2006
  • Location: North Dakota

Eastgate Funeral & Cremation Service

2302 East Divide Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501
Tel. (701) 223-7322

Tribute & Message From The Family

       Fran Cornell, 59, Bismarck, died November 12, 2006, at her home.

       Funeral services will be held on Friday at 10:30 AM at Church of Corpus Christi in Bismarck with Rev. Paul Becker officiating.  Burial will be at Mandan Union Cemetery.

       Visitation will be held Wednesday from 3:00 - 9:00 PM and Thursday from 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, where a rosary and prayer service will be held at 7:00 PM Thursday evening.

       Fran Leingang was born on October 10, 1947, in Bismarck, North Dakota, the daughter of Alex and Frances (Lauinger) Leingang.  She was raised in Mandan where she graduated from Mandan High School in 1965.  Fran attended BJC for two years and then graduated from NDSU in 1969.  Fran began teaching Physical Education at Simle Junior High School.  Here, she met her husband Jim Cornell whom she married on June 25, 1971.  Fran remained at Simle for 36 years until her retirement in 2005.  Fran coached and judged gymnastics.  She was a member of several teaching associations and worked at Marshall Fields for many years.  Fran was a parishioner of Corpus Christi where she served as a Eucharistic minister.

        Fran was a devoted teacher and coach who gained great joy through working with students and athletes.  Fran was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.  She had endless amounts of love that she shared with all those around her.  Her strength and love will continue on in all those she touched.

        She is survived by her husband, Jim of Bismarck; her daughters and son-in-law, Paige and Aaron Engberg of South Lyon, Michigan, and Lynn Cornell of Lakeville, Connecticut; her son, Ryan Cornell of St. Louis, Missouri; her grandchildren, Allison, Morgan, and Brooke Engberg, all of South Lyon, Michigan; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Tony and Regina Leingang of Pinole, California, Eugene and Judy Leingang of Pinole, California, and George and Jean Leingang of Bismarck; her sisters and brothers-in-law, Ann Gangl of Mandan, Lorraine Heinert of Vacaville, California, Mary Heinert of Bismarck, Stephanie and Leo Schwartz of Mandan, Delores and Frank Beehler of Lodi, California, and Abby and Ken Olson of Minot; and her nieces and nephews.

        She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers; and one sister.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Cornell Family,

I was saddened to hear of your loss.  I did my student teaching with Mrs. Cornell and was also a student of hers at Simle.  She was a wonderful person, I learned a lot from her.  We had a lot of fun.  She liked making fun of my clumsiness.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Jennifer Smallacombe - Easton, PA   October 01, 2010

Jim, Ryan and Family, my heart was saddened today as my wife shared the news about Fran passing on to heaven.  I started to think about what a speacial lady she was.  I couldn't help but travel back in time to Medora when she so graciously shared her pajamas with me.  My next thoughts went to Ryan and what a pleasure it was to have coached  such a fine you man.  Then I thought of Jim and all the people he has touched thru education.  Fran  has touched so many people and left precious, keepsake memories for all of us to gather strength from, for the rest of our time on earth.  God Bless you all.  

Sincerely, Doug Sturlaugson.

Posted by Doug Sturlaugson - Bismarck, ND   October 01, 2010

Jim and family,

We send you our deepest sympathy.  Fran was such a kind and caring person and she could carry on a conversation like no other.  I enjoyed her so much, especially when we would run into her at the parade of homes in Bismarck.  She would always have such interesting things to talk about. You knew how much she loved her family by how often she would talk of them.  She will be greatly missed by all.  

Tim, Kelli, Alyssa and Ashlyn Hagerott

Posted by Kelli (Heinert) Hagerott - Bismarck, ND   October 01, 2010

I am sending my deepest sympathy to Ryan and his family during their time of grief.  

Posted by Annette Llewellyn - St. Louis, MO   October 01, 2010

Thoughts, prayers and condolences to all of Ryan's family.  We will be here to support Ryan when he returns to work.  Judging from the man Ryan is, I know his mother was a wonderful woman who will be missed by many, many people.  She touched many lives and leaves a great legacy of love and caring in her family and students.

Posted by Cynthia Hermann - St Louis, MO   October 01, 2010

May you cherish all the wonderful memories you have of your wife, mother, grandmother!!  Fran was truly a special gift from God to us all.

Posted by Arlene Stewart - Huntington Woods, MI   October 01, 2010


My prayers are lifted up for you and your family.

1 Thessalonians 4:13,14

(13)Our brothers, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope.

(14)We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that GOD will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him.

Posted by Tamara S. Walker - St Louis, MO   October 01, 2010

My thoughts and prayers to all of Fran's

family. What a lovely and special person she was. May she always rest in peace.

Posted by Hildie Gray (Ressler) - Seattle, WA   October 01, 2010

Uncle Jim & Family,

I am so sorry that Aunt Francie had to leave you all. She was the best person in the world. When I was young I remember her taking me out to the big boy with her friends and making me feel very important when really she probably would have rather just hung out with her girlfriends. I loved her very much. We will keep Aunt Francie and your whole family in our prayers. Please take care of yourselves.

With all my love, Linda

Posted by Linda Valenti - Napa, CA   October 01, 2010

Your Fran Cornell looks like Princess Diana when you first take a look at her picture in the obituary. She was graceful and beautiful.  She touched many hearts and impacted many students lives. God bless you.

Posted by A friend   October 01, 2010

Dear Cornell Family,

   My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this sad time.  

God Bless

Posted by Paula Lyon - Bismarck, ND   October 01, 2010

I just wanted to send my heartfelt condolences to all of you. I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to grow up around Fran and the rest of you, and I will never forget the many memories I have of our time together back in the neighborhood. My thoughts are with all of you.

Posted by Travis Riffey - Oak Creek, WI   October 01, 2010

Carol and I were deeply saddened to learn of your wifes death.  We pray that God will be with you in these difficult times.  Don and Sylvia are in Australia so may not know of your wifes death.

Bill and Carol Grosz

Posted by Bill Grosz - Gold Canyon, AZ   October 01, 2010

To Jim & Family,

Although I have never met you I feel that I know you.

Fran was a great lady, a lady in every sense of the word and it was my good fortune to have met her and laughed and cried with her.

She was a special lady to me and know that she will be missed by you all.

My deepest sympathy.

Posted by Margaret Forknell - Bismarck, ND   October 01, 2010

Jim and family,

I am sure you know how wonderful a wife and mother you had.  She always had a smile on her face and a kind word to say from the time we were in grade school together.  We had many wonderful times sitting on the front porch of her house eating her mothers wonderful food.  My thought and prayer are with you.

Sandy Hay Koch

Posted by Sandy Hay - Minneapaolis, MN   October 01, 2010

Jim and Family,

We feel so fortunate to have know Fran.  She was kind and such a nice person.  I had the privilege of working with Fran at both Simle and Dayton's.

Margo and Gary Dietz

Posted by Margo Dietz - Bismarck, ND   October 01, 2010

Ryan, All of us have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers - Lean on the memories, tell the stories.  Peace,  Eric Affholter

Posted by Eric Affholter - St. Louis, MO   October 01, 2010

I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Jim and his family.

Posted by Joan Kovash    October 01, 2010

Fran was my gym teacher from 72-74.  I thought she was wonderful.  She made such an impression in my life.  I loved sports and a big part of why I did was because of Fran's knowledge and enthusiasm.  She was my role model.  I hoped I could be as positive about sports as she was.  In 1980, I coached girls basketball at Simle and I also helped Fran coach gymnastics when she was pregnant.

I didn't see Fran again until I ran into her and Jim at the Minneapolis airport this July 2006.  We were all waiting for a flight to Bismarck.  I thought I was in a time warp.  I recognized her immediately, although I couldn't remember Jim's name!  (Sorry, bout that Jim!! Fran was the one that left such an impression on me when I was at Simle!!)  

It was really nice to be able to sit with them and do some catching up.  She told me a few stories of places where they had traveled since retiring and how she and Jim were to be able to see their children and grandchildren.  We also talked some of Simle and the good times all us girls had with her.  She remembered the gang I hung out with - and the time they threw her in the girl's shower.  I'm still not sure if that is a good thing that she remembered us - and by name too!!  She had a lot of children in those 36 years!!  I guess that's what made her so special.  She was a true teacher, mentor and eventually as we grew to adulthood, our friend.  She was a role model up to the end.  I'll never forget sitting in that airport and watching her while she talked.  Her eyes were bright and alive while she talked of her family and being able to travel after retirement.  Never a sad word was mentioned the whole time.  Once again, she was that positive person in my life.  Fran is a true role model that our future will surely miss.  Jim and family - Thank you for sharing her with us.  You are all in my thoughts.   

Posted by lynell Gilliland (Bender) - Tuscaloosa, AL   October 01, 2010

I will always remember Fran as a delightful, warm person that greeted you with a smile.  

Posted by Kris Scarborough - Mandan, ND   October 01, 2010