Kurt Cornum

SANFORD — Kurt Cornum of Palisade, Colorado, formerly of Sanford, died peacefully November 9th, 2019, at his home in Palisade, with his children at his side.  He was born in Alamosa on April 23, 1934, to H. D. and Lizzie Reed Cornum, the youngest of nine children, and the apple of his mother’s eye.

Kurt grew up in Sanford, Colorado, and graduated from Sanford High School.  He was a natural athlete, and was part of the state champion basketball teams in 1949 and 1950.  As a youngster, he developed a life-long interest and love of flying airplanes.  At the age of 15, he was warming up a plane at the local airport, when he “accidentally” found himself in the air (and in a fair amount of trouble with the plane’s owner). It was his first solo flight and he landed safely! Kurt attended and graduated from Adams State College.  He married his wife, Frankie Groat of La Jara, in Alamosa in 1954.  They were married 62 years, until Frankie passed away in November of 2017. 

As a young man, Kurt served his country in the Army, and was stationed at several bases both overseas and in the United States. He enjoyed a long career with Public Service of Colorado, first in Palisade, then moving the family to Brush, Colorado, for a number of years. Kurt and Frankie loved their time in Palisade, and after Kurt’s retirement from Public Service in 1989, they moved back.  Kurt had a peach orchard, where he grew some of the biggest, prettiest, most delicious peaches ever grown! He and Frankie spent many hours working together in the orchard, and he was always proud and happy to share his peaches with family and friends. He still loved to fly, and actually built two airplanes, that he flew and enjoyed for many years.  His family was important to Kurt and he was instrumental in assisting many of them stay in contact with each other through the years.  He was proud of Frankie and his children, and they always loved being together.

Kurt is survived by his son Kory Cornum, of Palisade and Telluride; daughter Kara Cornum, of Anchorage, Alaska; and sister Judy Parrish of Sanford.  He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and many friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Frankie; his parents, H.D. and Lizzie Cornum; one brother in infancy; brothers Duwayne Cornum, Frank Cornum and Monte Cornum; and hirley Fugate and Bonnie Coombs.  Kurt was a colorful character, full of fun and mischief, and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.