Life Story Visitation
Saturday, February 11, 2023
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries
448 N Burdick St
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes
901 Portage St
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Life Story / Obituary
Friendly and charming, Marshall Kornegay lived a life rooted in caring for his family. A man who never shied away from hard work, Marshall also knew how to have a good time. His happiness came from the simple things in life, like spending time with those he loved, the satisfaction of a job well done, finding a treasured rock, and enjoying a sweet treat. Marshall devoted himself to his family and proudly led his children and grandchildren together with his wife.
After years of challenges brought on by the Great Depression and World War II, 1949 marked significant postwar prosperity and excitement. Color TV’s brought entertainment to our living rooms, the first Volkswagen Beetle was sold in the U.S., and Jukeboxes started playing the latest records at every corner diner. The nation’s focus was on family and building a brighter future. Nowhere was there more hope than in a North Carolina home where Marshall’s family welcomed him into their lives on November 2.
Soon after high school, Marshall trained and worked as a licensed barber while living in the Washington, D.C. area. He soon moved on and worked a variety of different jobs. While walking to his car one evening in Georgetown, an attractive woman caught his attention as she walked by with a friend. Instantly drawn to her, he followed them to the restaurant they entered. He stopped at their table and ventured to introduced himself. Sherry couldn’t help but be taken by his friendly charisma. On one of their first dates, Marshall and Sherry went out to eat at a great restaurant. They spent hours enjoying their meal and each other’s company, so totally lost in their conversation, they were shocked by the bill they accrued. As they saw the obscene amount on the bill, all they could do was look at each other and laugh. From then on they were inseparable.
Marshall and Sherry married in 1975, and the couple settled into their lives together outside of Washington D.C. and welcomed their three children into their lives. Though he had already realized that barbering was not the profession for him, he did enjoy cutting his kids’ hair. He worked a variety of jobs including one at the airport where his children recall marveling at the large planes waiting on the tarmac. Big changes were ahead for Marshall and Sherry as he tired of the traffic and congestion of big city life. They made the decision to move to West Michigan where Sherry grew up. Sherry’s sister-in-law encouraged Marshall to apply for a job with her employer, Minute Maid in Paw Paw, Michigan. Marshall pursued the opportunity and got the job. He started on the night shift, eventually moving into blending, and then into palletizing. He often brought home cases of Five-Alive and Echto Cooler from work, partly because the kids liked them, but also because he had a sweet tooth of his own. After working for the company for more than 20 years, he happily retired.
A man of many interests, Marshall particularly enjoyed rock hunting. He often became sidetracked from landscaping projects if an interesting rock popped into view. He simply liked finding the fossils embedded in them. Sherry regularly found random piles of rocks stashed throughout their home just waiting for a closer look. He also enjoyed his solitude. Whether watching the birds in the yard or sports on T.V., he was easily content in his own company. He knew about every type of bird that flew through the yard and was quick to share something about them with those who were near. He was also an avid Washington Redskins fan, proudly cheering on his favorite team from the comfort of his living room while snacking on M&Ms.
Those who knew him best were familiar with Marshall’s love for playing the lottery. Determined to prove it could win, he constantly refined “his system.” He even picked the winning MegaMillions numbers twice, but unfortunately he hadn’t bought a ticket on either occasion! It was common for family and friends to walk into the home and see the dining room table completely covered with his spreadsheet, tickets, and notes, as he pursued his quest for the perfect combination.
Without a doubt, Marshall’s greatest joy was his family. They enjoyed day trips to the Gilmore Car Museum together and other local getaways. Always polite, Marshall had the best conversations with those closest to him. If you were in his circle of friends, Marshall truly valued those relationships. His grandkids were his heart's delight and he relished taking them for walks in the yard, looking for rocks together, and giving them wheelbarrow rides. Like any doting grandpa, he’d take them out for treats, or if he couldn’t take them out, he’d bring home goodies, including almonds, berries, raisins, popcorn, and of course chocolate ice cream.
Though our days with Marshall were far too few, every moment we shared with him will long be remembered. Surely, our many fond memories and the honor of carrying his legacy forward provide deep comfort.
Marshall Kornegay of Paw Paw, age 73, died on February 3, 2023. Marshall was born November 2, 1949, in Duplin County, North Carolina, to Hubert and Rae (Quinn) Kornegay, who preceded him in death. Surviving are his wife, Sherry; children: Stacey Kornegay, Matt (Kim) Kornegay, and David (Tonia) Kornegay; grandchildren: Liam, Sean, Christian, Angel, Cloey, and Weston; great-grandkids: Colson, Scotlyn, and Eliana; and sister: Nancy (Doug) Peterson. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Saturday (FEB 11) from 4-6 PM at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Homes, 60900 M40, Paw Paw (269) 657-3870. Visit Marshall’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes or Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries.