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Cornelia (Adair) Yaw

April 29, 2018

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Cornelia Adair Brundige Yaw, formerly of Hingham, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on the afternoon of April 29, 2018, surrounded by her three children and extended family.

Although her long life had many chapters,Cornelia's heart always  remained on the the South Shore of Massachusetts ( Hingham, Cohasset, Hanover), where she spent her childhood and then raised her own three children. She will be laid to rest at the Liberty Plain Cemetery in Hingham, across the street from the house where she grew up, along with her parents,  her two brothers and her grandson Willem Adair Berkelar.

Cornelia was a gifted pianist, a talented artist, and an excellent hostess. She loved to read, garden and cook. She also loved to sew and enjoyed all kinds of traditional handcrafts. She designed and made both of her daughters' wedding gowns and veils.      

Cornelia was born August 21, 1925 and raised in Hingham, Massachusetts by her parents Elisabeth Starkweather Adair and Roger Putnam Adair. Cornelia's father Roger was superintendent at Hingham Shipyard, most notably during World War II when battleships were being built and battle tested before being sent overseas. Cornelia's mother Elisabeth was a devoted member of St John's Episcopal Church in Hingham and a community activist in Hingham and beyond, advocating for lunch programs in the public schools, the opening of preschool programs for young children, and for the protection of wetlands from development, especially on Cape Cod.  With her younger sister Anstis Bradford Merrill and her identical twin brothers Roger Putnam II and Richard Harrison Adair, Cornelia attended local Hingham public schools. Cornelia finished high school by graduating from Chapel Hill School in Waltham. Massachusetts. She attended the University of Michigan, where her father Roger had graduated with a degree in Marine Engineering and her mother Elisabeth had been a pre-med student.

Cornelia lived life fully and there were three distinct chapters to her married life.

While at the Chapel Hill School, Cornelia met and became engaged to Waltham resident George Joel Shedd, an accomplished life-long professional artist. Cornelia became (like many of her World War II generation) a young war-time bride. Soon after their wedding, George was sent abroad, where he served as an Army Air Force bomber pilot stationed in Guam. When the war ended and George finally returned home, Cornelia attended Massachusetts College of Art in Boston with her husband, as he began to finish his degree in art.  George surpassed other students in ability and was chosen by syndicated cartoonist Al Capp to draw for his strip and also worked for Stan Lee on his Captain America strip. The Shedds moved to Atlanta, Georgia and in the early 50's, George created a syndicated cartoon strip of his own, "Martin Keel", that was published in the Boston Globe and many other newspapers around the country. Working as a team with George, Cornelia hand lettered the strip, colored the Sunday strip, and assisted in creating the story line. When the strip ended syndication, the Shedds moved back to Scituate, Massachusetts and then to Hanover, Massachusetts to raise their growing family of Stephanie, Serena, and Daniel.

Chapter two of Cornelia's married life began when she married Joseph Emery Brundige in 1961.  Cornelia had already started her own private nursery school and later became a kindergarten teacher in Pembroke by the time she had met Joe. The family moved to Cohasset Massachusetts in 1968 where Cornelia became the executive secretary and assistant administrator for the Cohasset Community Center.

Chapter three of Cornelia's life coincided with her retiring at age 55 and marrying Edward David Yaw, a recent retiree from the Fish and Wildlife service.  Edward and Cornelia made a life choice to pull up stakes and live in the woods of Maine, buying a remotely located 15 acre farm in Parsonsfield, Maine. The farm became a center for all things family, with Cornelia pursuing gardening and art and Ed always adding on to the unique farmhouse and carving out a rustic and idyllic existence for the both of them.  Most of the happy family stories told around the dinner table revolve around the days and years spent at Cornelia and Ed's farm up in Parsonsfield; warm conversations surrounding family dinners, playing board games into the night, exploring the woods of Maine, and just enjoying family. Cornelia reveled in hosting her children, grandchildren, and extended friends and family at the farm for those 30 years in Parsonsfield.

Cornelia will be lovingly remembered by her three children, Stephanie Williams of Gorham, Maine, Serena Berkelaar Green of Scituate, Massachusetts, Daniel Adair Brundige of Lanesboro, Massachusetts, by their spouses and by her grandchildren. Cornelia was also leaves behind two small great- grandsons.

A memorial service will take place at the Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel at 21 Pond Street in Hingham Massachusetts on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 2 p.m.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Cornelia (Adair) Yaw, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
June 9, 2018

2:00 PM
Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel
21 Pond Street
Hingham, MA 02043

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