Norma Lee Cornelius

Born on May 10, 1928 in Baltimore, Maryland to Merton and Mary Dorffner Quimby, Norma Lee Cornelius came into a world that would soon meet Mickey Mouse and penicillin.

She didn’t know it yet, but she would be the oldest of 12 children and would help to raise her 11 siblings, only one of whom, Paul Quimby, is still alive.

Although growing up in poverty, Lee took the opportunity to go to nursing school and started her service career in public health and eventually received her BA degree in psychology to become a psychiatric nurse.

Even in retirement, she continued to serve others by volunteering with the Temple Baptist Church Food Pantry. She knew hunger in her lifetime and was dedicated to helping others avoid it.

Lee was predeceased by her husband William Lee Cornelius, and is survived by her daughters Billie Jean Newby, Tammie Lee Stephenson, and Connie Jean Mulloy, as well as 7 of her 8 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was a long time Senior Olympian and learned to throw a discus in her 80s. Her faith and love of the Lord, competitive spirit and strength helped her live to an impressive 93 years old, when on February 26, 2022 she succumbed to a combination of dementia and old age with her three girls holding her hands and telling her, “Well done, Ma!” She loved the Lord, animals, bowling, volunteering, and her family. She will be missed.

Lee will be put to rest at Temple Baptist Church 3300 Tidewater Dr. Norfolk, VA on March 5 at 11am. Visitation will be held at 10 am prior to the ceremony, and a following graveside service will be immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, the family requests either monetary or non-perishable food donations to the Temple Food Pantry. Online condolences may be offered to the family at