Helen McGavran Corneli, 87, a retired University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) professor and director of International Programs, died Friday, May 9, 2014, in Salt Lake City, Utah, after a brief cascade of illness and injury.
A remembrance service will be planned at a later date.
Donations can be made to the American Friends Service Committee, the Santa Fe Society of Friends, or Oxfam.
Mrs. Corneli was born June 9, 1926, in Almora, India, a daughter of the late Donald and Mary McGavran, a missionary family. She grew up in India and, after high school, tutored young maharajahs in English.
She returned to the U.S. in a convoy during World War II, learning later that as she was steaming into Boston Harbor, her future husband shipped out on a troop transport.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and then received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois.
She was married to Clifford M. “Kip” Corneli. He died Jan. 2, 2009.
After a year in Paris, they came home to start a family.
She earned a doctorate at the UW-Madison.
She taught for many years as a professor of English at UWSP, and then, as the director of International Programs, helped a generation of UWSP students study abroad.
Her book “Mice in the Freezer, Owls on the Porch” won a Best University Press Books Citation in 2003.
After retirement, she and her husband lived in Santa Fe, N.M., and traveled across the U.S. and around the world.
She was active in many social causes and was a member of the Santa Fe Society of Friends (Quakers) and served the meeting in various capacities.
Survivors include four children, Howard, Steven, Miriam and Danelle; two sisters, Win Griffen and Pat Sheafor; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
She was also preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Theodora and Jean; and one brother, Malcolm.