Chenango Stories: Marsha Cornelius

NORWICH – Marsha Cornelius says growing up in a family with nine other siblings was a lot of fun, but a challenge nonetheless. At age 17, Marsha had a plan in mind to go on to college, but when tragedy struck and her father passed away, her plans changed dramatically.



Marsha said she felt her mother could not afford the expense of college with so many other children still to provide for. Like her mother, Marsha decided to take a job for the shoe factory in Norwich. Following graduation, she said she got married and started working. Marsha’s mother was her boss and in time she learned all about the craft of stitching and other aspects of shoe making.

Within the next five years she had a son, Brian, but her marriage was not meant to last and soon ended.

Marsha was promoted to floor supervisor following her mother falling ill with cancer. Marsha met Steve, a man who in time would become her second husband, just before her mother passed away.

“We were actually going to get married in my mother’s hospital room, but she passed away before we could,” said Marsha.


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