Commander Roy S. Cornwell

Commander Roy S. Cornwell, 96, departed on his final mission on June 15.

He was born to John Lee Cornwell and Allie Stribling on Oct. 9, 1922, in Nashville, N.C. As a small boy, he dreamed of flying airplanes. He lived that dream to the fullest.

Roy packed a lot of adventure into his long life. He enlisted in the Navy and learned to fly after getting his aeronautical engineering degree from NC State. Shortly thereafter he met the first woman of his dreams, Sara Frances Foster, who was attending William & Mary College in Va., and they wed in her hometown of Matthews, Va. They saw the world as Roy traveled with the Pacific and Atlantic fleets. His squadron was the “Top Hats.” He had four children: Allie (Scott), Roy Jr., Karen, and David.

After retiring as a Commander from the US Navy, Roy joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Z-Division which provides the US Intelligence Community with technical assessments of foreign nuclear programs and weapons capability. He continued accruing pilot miles as a civilian tow pilot, pulling up gliders and releasing them to fly.

After Roy and Sara divorced, he met Loree (Dolores) Mulqueeney Castro who became the next woman of his dreams. They wed in 1974, and he began life with Loree and her two daughters: Karen (Duffey) and Michele (Michael), both deceased.

Roy and Loree were the party hosts extraordinaire. You could always find him serving drinks and conversation behind the bar or out at the barbecue telling jokes and grilling tri-tip. They danced, traveled, and attended opera, theater, and community events. Roy spent many years in Pleasanton and Livermore, Calif., with his final years living near his daughters’ in California.

He is survived by his four children, ten grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. If you would like to make a donation to an organization in Roy’s name, the family suggests The Alzheimer's Association at

Commander Cornwell’s final party will be held on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at an 11:30 a.m. Memorial Service at Unitarian Universalist Church in Livermore, and a 1 p.m. final Salute and Party in Roy’s honor at the Martinelli Event Center. Please join us in celebrating his many adventures!