August 27, 2014
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Murray Ronald Cornelius, Sr.
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Murray Ronald Cornelius, Sr.

Murray Ronald "Ronnie" Cornelius, Sr., 71, of Tallahassee died unexpectedly Wednesday, August 27, 2014, in the comfort of his home.

Mr. Cornelius was born March 3, 1943 in Rome, Georgia to Gordon Gilbreath Cornelius and Alice Johnson Cornelius.

As a toddler, he moved to Tallahassee and made his home there. He graduated from Leon High School, Madison Junior College and Florida State University where he received a Bachelor's degree in Criminology. He continued to remain in close contact with his Leon High classmates, where the friendships were long and treasured.
Ronnie had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement.
He first entered into law enforcement with the Florida Highway Patrol. He had the honor of serving in the Special Protection Operations Services for Governors Claude Kirk and Reuben Askew. He retired from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a Special Agent Supervisor, serving in the field offices in Ft. Walton and Lakeland and Tallahassee headquarters.

Following retirement, he served on the Leon and Wakulla County Sheriff's Reserves. He was a member of Ochlockonee Bay United Methodist Church.

Ronnie ("Poppie") loved nothing more than his family, grandchildren and helping others smile. He thoroughly enjoyed many pastimes, including working in his yard, nature walks, traveling, golfing, boating, spending time at the coast, the peace and tranquility of a porch viewing nature, and games with friends.

He often was heard to say how blessed he was in all aspects of life.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Andra Scott Cornelius; a son, Murray Ronald "Randy" Cornelius, Jr. (wife Michelle); daughter, Tori Lynn Wierenga (husband Ronnie); step-daughter Sarah Catherine Beall (partner Owen O'Sullivan); his sister, Ginger Smith of Princeton, Texas; sister Beth Jenkins of Crestview, Florida; two precious grandchildren, Jack Thomas Cornelius and Emma Grace Cornelius, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He leaves behind his beloved dogs, Pearl and Murphy, and Cockatiel, Birdie McBird. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Tuesday, September 2, at 3:00 pm at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1700 North Meridian Road. Family will receive friends following the service in the Social Hall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Leon County Animal Shelter 1125 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee, 32311. Beggs Funeral Home, 3322 Apalachee Parkway, is in charge of arrangements (850.942.2929) .

Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2014