Thelma Cornwall


Our beloved mom, grandma, great grandma, sister, aunt, cousin, colleague, teacher, and friend; Thelma Cornwall received the best Christmas gift.  She went home to Heaven on Monday, December 25, 2023 in Douglas at the Converse County Memorial Hospital.   

Thelma Rae Jessen was born on July 9, 1939, to Alvin “AC” and Elise Jessen in Wheatland. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wheatland.   Thelma proudly lived the majority of her life in Platte County.  After marrying Charles “Chuck” Cornwall in 1959, they lived in Jeffrey City and Lingle before moving to Guernsey in 1970.  Thelma worked at the REA in both Wheatland and Torrington and Stock Growers Bank early in her career, which she thoroughly enjoyed, before deciding to do the very hard yet rewarding job of staying home with her children until 1976.  That is when she started working for Platte County School District #2 in Guernsey as a Special Education Para-Educator.  She loved her kids and was very dedicated to not only the school but to each of them until her retirement.  Mom always said “you choose what kind of day you’re going to have”.  One to never sit still in the summer, she worked for the County Assessor’s Office which she truly enjoyed prior to working several summers at the BX on Camp Guernsey.  She also helped with the census and organized blood drives.  Being a very active member of her church at Our Savior Lutheran Church in both Torrington and Guernsey, and later at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wheatland brought her great joy.  She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, served as church Secretary for many years, and jumped at the chance to help with soup/pie dinners or providing a dish for any occasion.  Her attention to detail and determination to do her best spurred her to spend hours two Saturday’s a month for years typing the church bulletins.  Thelma loved helping and caring for people.  She moved in with her mom, Elsie Jessen, and became her primary care-giver when the time came.  She would drive from Wheatland to Guernsey every Sunday morning to pick up her dear friend, Dorothy Hunzicker, for church, excited to spend the day with her. She loved everyone, knew no stranger and would talk to everyone.  She strongly believed in treating people the way you wanted to be treated and passed on that to each of her children.  Thelma was an amazing listener who was always there to lend a hand, drive someone to an appointment or help any way she could.   

Thelma is survived by her children, Diana and Joe Sestak of Johnstown, Colorado, Dan Cornwall of Lingle, Cynthia Cornwall Westerman of Rapid City, South Dakota, and Teresa and Adam Dunkin of Wheatland; grandchildren, Scott McCarty and Katie Luchau of Englewood, Colorado, Nat and Molly McCarty of Wellington, Colorado, Mariah Westerman of Elmendorf-Richardson AFB, Anchorage, Alaska, Aaron Westerman of Rapid City, and Raine Sestak of Johnstown, Colorado;  great grandchildren, Ivy and Olive, Wellington; aunt, Ella Burzlaff of Wheatland; sister, Lucille “Lu” Luhring, Pullman, Washington; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. 

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Martin and Laura Jessen and Lambert and Tensia Johnson; parents, Alvin and Elsie Jessen; infant daughter, Charlene; and husband, Charles Cornwall.  

A funeral service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wheatland on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 2:00 P.M. with The Reverend Lincoln C. Winter officiating.  Interment will be in Wheatland Cemetery. Please join us for a reception at the church following to celebrate her life and share stories.  

Memorials to the Trinity Lutheran Church LWML, P.O. Box 216, Wheatland, Wyoming 82201 or Marge Cares, P.O. Box 155, Glendo, Wyoming 82213 would be appreciated by the family.  

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Scott McCarty, Nat McCarty, Mariah Westerman, Aaron Westerman, and Raine Sestak.   

Thelma was known for her love of bright colors. Please feel free to wear lots of color.   

The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland are in charge of the arrangements. 

Condolences may be sent to the family at