Deacon Emeritus Albert Corner of Southfield, age 92, died at home on Friday, June 25, 2010. Albert, born on April 30, 1918 to William Arthur and Rosa (Mattie) Corner of Royal Oak, was one of six children. After his graduations from Lincoln High School in Ferndale and Northwestern University, Al began theological studies until the outbreak of WWII. During his service in Guam, he rose in rank to Sergeant Major in the Army. After his return home in 1945, he met Ida May Setchell, and they were married on May 10, 1947 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Detroit. The couple was blessed with the births of three daughters, Cindy, Nancy and Jenny as Al’s work in the automotive industry moved them about southeastern Michigan. The family eventually settled in Berkley, and Al worked for the Howard Plating Co. in Madison Heights nearly 35 years until his retirement.
In Berkley, the Corner family soon found their way to St. James Chapel, later to become St. David’s of Southfield. While serving his church in a variety of capacities from lay reader to Senior Warden on the Vestry, Al heard another call to ministry. He resumed his theological studies at the Detroit School of Theology, and on July 1, 1971, at St. David’s, he was ordained Deacon by Bishop Crowley, then Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan. Except for a short period, Al has been St. David’s deacon retiring in February, 2008. For a brief time he served as Deacon at St. Margaret’s, Hazel Park. He is remembered by present and past members for his warm welcome, and by young and old alike for the famous St. David’s “handshake.” Al epitomized our mission statement “to love and serve God through worship, outreach, and love for all,” through his life and service at St. David’s.
Al’s passion for serving Christ, and his love for people extended far beyond the doors of St. David’s. He has served as president of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, was actively involved in the Berkley Clergy Association, the American Legion (Royal Oak), and was a member of Tentmakers (a Christian group devoted to taking the Word of God into their work lives). He provided Merit Badge Chaplain Service for the Boy Scouts of America, served as Chaplain at Beaumont Hospital and the Oxford Park Towers where he and Ida May lived for many years. Al has served the Diocese in numerous capacities, including 48 years on the Board of Directors for Camp Chickagami, the Diocesan campground in Presque Isle. Al helped construct many of the buildings and the beautiful stone altar.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ida May (Setchell), children Cynthia Corner, Nancy (Patrick) Foster, and Jennifer (Gary) Cole; five grandchildren; nine great grandchildren and countless others whose lives have been touched by his friendship and ministry.
A Requiem Eucharist in celebration of the life of Albert E. Corner was held at St. David’s on Monday, June 28, 2010.