Dr. Sherry E. Corneal, 72, of State College, PA, left her earthly body peacefully and painlessly on Friday, May 3, 2019 at Mount Nittany Medical Center due to complications of cancer. She is survived by her beloved rescue dog, Olive, her two daughters, Kelly Countermine and Molly Countermine, her son-in-law, Rene Witzke, and her three grandchildren, Lucy, Leo, and Eli, all of State College, PA. She is also survived by her devoted Cody Bair, the son she never had but who became an integral part of her family and her life, and whom she loved so dearly. She is also survived by her brother, Daniel Erhard, of Williamsport, PA. She was preceded in death by her father, Daniel Erhard, and her mother, Julia Heffner Erhard.
Dr. Corneal is also survived by the thousands of lives she touched as an Associate Professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University for over 25 years. She was the recipient of many awards including, but not limited to: Best Professor at Penn State, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, the Health and Human Development Faculty Appreciation Award, and the prestigious George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Had there been an award for Best Dressed Professor at Penn State, she no doubt would have won that award as well. Upon her retirement in 2018, the HDFS Department created an award in her name, The Corneal Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in HDFS. A true academic to the end, Dr. Corneal passed on the last day of the Spring Semester, right around the time her annual award was being presented on campus.
Anyone that knew Sherry knows that another important part of her identity was her sense of responsibility to serve as an advocate for animals. She vigorously promoted rescuing, volunteering and/or donating to animal shelters, and was on a first name basis with the dog officers in the borough of State College over the course of many years.
Dr. Corneal was a highly charismatic, intelligent, influential force of a soul who made a deep impression on those she met. She will be deeply missed, and remembered for many years to come.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Pets Come First (formerly the SPCA of Centre County).
Services will be held at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 820 Westerly Parkway, State College, PA 16801, on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 4 pm.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com or visit us on Facebook.