Doris Marie Cornett

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Doris Marie Cornett (Sommer)

Birthplace: Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, United States
Death: July 14, 2023 (95)
Banner Desert Hospital, Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States (Old age.)
Place of Burial: Tempe, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Harold Ester Sommer and LaVerne Alice Sommer
Wife of William LeRoy 'Bill' Cornett
Mother of Private; Dan Cornett and Private User
Sister of Jack J. Sommer; Private and Richard 'Dick' Herbert Sommer

Occupation: Educator (teacher & school principal); Tempe Police Department Volunteer organizer.
Managed by: Dayn Sommer
Last Updated:

About Doris Marie Cornett

Teacher and School Principal until retirement; received Ed. Spec. (Ph.D equivalent) 1970. Created "Victim Assistance" program with police in Tempe after retirement, volunteering for 22 years with both the Tempe and Arizona State University police. She enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, reading, and knitting. She & Bill had an elaborate "turtle compound" in their Tempe, AZ home for many years. Doris's first view of Bill was his feet - sticking out from under a tractor he was working on at a Neely farm.

Born in Phoenix where there is now a grocery store (32nd St & McDowell Blvd), the family moved "back home" to Ohio when she was 3 (1931). After a number of years in Ohio the family decided that Arizona was really now "home", moving back to Tempe in time for her to attend high school in Tempe for her senior year.

She had a one-time encounter with the spinster sister of Senator Carl Hayden, giving Sallie Hayden a ride home from the doctor's office.

  • Residence: Maricopa, Arizona - 1930
  • Residence: Same Place, (as 1940), - 1935
  • Residence: Pleasant Township, Columbus Grove Village, Putnam, Ohio - 1940

Family posting: Family obituary

Doris Marie Cornett (nee Sommer), a long-time resident of Tempe, died Friday, July 14 at the age of 95. Doris was proud to have been born in Arizona, graduating from Tempe High School in 1946.

Doris was known throughout Tempe for beginning the Officers in the School program with the Tempe Police Department. After retiring in 1988, she served as a volunteer with the Police Department, managing the Victim Assistance program for eight years. She served in several capacities until 2008 and made many friendships, inspiring others with her commitment and caring. In 2008 she helped start a similar volunteer program with the ASU Police Department, serving as coordinator.

Doris received a BS in Kindergarten/Primary Education from ASU in 1962, an MA in Elementary Ed in 1968, and an Ed.D in 1974. Doris had a long career as an educator in Tempe, beginning with teaching 1st grade at Thew Elementary School from 1962-65. After teaching grades 3 and 4 and serving as coordinator at Evans School for four years, in 1971 she opened Carminati Elementary as its first principal. In 1976 she served one year as Acting Director of Personnel for the District; she said she discovered that she missed interacting with the students. She opened Fuller Elementary School in 1977, serving as principal there until 1984. She was principal at Connolly Junior High School until her retirement in 1988.

Lest anyone think she wasn’t busy enough, she raised three children with her husband Bill Cornett, who died in 1998. They were married for 51 years. Both of them were very active in the Tempe First United Methodist Church. Doris served as Sunday School teacher and head of the primary department at the church until the babies she taught began bringing in their babies. She served on many church committees, as well as starting the Tempe branch of Stephen Ministry, serving as coordinator/trainer for four years.

Born in 1928 in Phoenix, her parents, Harold & Laverne Sommer, moved the family “back home” to Ohio in 1931, where she grew up with 3 brothers: Jack, Bob, and Dick. After WW-II the family decided that Arizona was really home and they moved back in time for Doris’ senior year at Tempe Union High School.

In the years before raising children and attending college, she had several interesting jobs. In addition to working as a waitress and a dishwasher, during high school in Ohio she worked as a pinsetter in a bowling alley and assembled bomber electrical harnesses in the summers during World War II. After her marriage to Bill in 1947, they owned and operated a self-service laundry. The family lived on Cedar Street in Tempe for many years.

Doris moved to Desert Marigold in 2011 and quickly established herself as a person to be counted on. She watched out for the staff and other residents, and – ever the principal/administrator – did not hesitate to make suggestions for improvements or repairs. Her skill with completing complicated jigsaw puzzles was legendary, and she made sure that the facility was supplied with puzzles.

Ever curious and in service, Doris was a decades-long participant in a Sun Research study of brains, Alzheimer’s, and mental health, culminating with being a donor for the final phase of her participation.

Doris is survived by many friends as well as her three children, Koneta, Dan (Susan), and Zane (Elaine); four grandchildren Siobhan Sackey, Ben Sackey, Dana Beth Cornett Wile, and Joel Cornett; and four great grandchildren. Her older brother Bob Sommer survives her.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at 11:00 a.m. on October 6 at Tempe First United Methodist Church, 215 E. University Dr., Tempe, Arizona.

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Doris Marie Cornett's Timeline

March 11, 1928
Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, United States