Cover photo for Mary Louise (Grieco) Cornwell's Obituary
Mary Louise (Grieco) Cornwell Profile Photo

Mary Louise (Grieco) Cornwell

October 19, 1928 — June 14, 2023

Pisgah Forest, NC

Mary Louise (Grieco) Cornwell


Mary Louise Grieco Cornwell passed away Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at the age of 94.    She was living in Brevard, North Carolina with her daughter and son in law, Nancy and Jack Grogan.

Mrs. Cornwell was predeceased by her loving husband of 45 years, Irving Emanuel Cornwell, and a sister, Mrs. Diane McCoy.  She is survived by a sister, Mrs. Patricia Andriola of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.  Her surviving children are Nancy Grogan (Jack) and Lou Gebb (David) of Brevard, North Carolina, Allison Tison (Larry) of Bakersville, North Carolina, Wes Cornwell of Mayport, Florida, Bob Mazza (Lori) of Switzerland, Florida, Patricia Kirkland  (Larry) and Charlene Isenberg (Steve)  of Newberry, Florida, and Irving Cornwell, Jr. (Brenda) of Jacksonville, Florida.  She had fifteen grandchildren. 

She was born in Tampa, Florida to Daniel and Mary Grieco.  The family moved to Jacksonville, Florida and located in the Springfield area.  She was a graduate of Andrew Jackson High School.  Mary loved Jacksonville and loved telling stories of living there in the 30’s and 40’s. 

Irving and Mary and children lived in Atlantic Beach, Florida until moving to Switzerland, Florida.  They loved the St. Johns River, the giant cathedral oaks, the orange groves, and the friends they met.  Mary was a lover of plants and passed that to her children.  She also enjoyed cooking and could bake up to eight loaves of yeast bread at a time.

Mary was secretary for her husband’s business, Quality Water.

Mary started the first garden club in Switzerland, The Orange Tree Circle.  She gradually became interested in protecting the beautiful area from the rampant development edging closer to Switzerland.  The giant cathedral oaks were being torn down further north and development on the river threatened the ecosystems of the river.  Mrs. Cornwell gathered a group of residents in the Switzerland area who were also concerned and wanted to explore a way to protect the area.

 She became the first chairman of the group working toward designating State Road 13 as a Florida Scenic Highway.  After four years of research, evidence gathering and working with St. Johns County, the State of Florida granted the Corridor Advocacy Group approval for State Road 13 to be designated the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway.

Mary eventually moved to North Carolina to be with three of her girls.  She and her husband loved the mountains and people of Western North Carolina. 

Service arrangements will be announced at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Louise (Grieco) Cornwell, please visit our flower store.


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