Robert M. Corning

March 18, 1939 ~ March 7, 2022 (age 82)


Robert M. Corning, longtime resident of Ovid, died at Bethany Manor in Horseheads on Monday, March 7, 2022.

Bob was born in Ithaca, NY on March 18, 1939, son of the late Robert F. and Margaret (Peg) Corning.  He attended local schools until his family built a home in King Ferry, NY, where they moved when Bob was a sophomore in high school.  While at King Ferry, he played basketball and was active in drama productions.  Most importantly however, he met his future wife, Karen Cleaveland.  They had many friends from their 1958 graduating class of 17, many of whom became lifetime friends.

Bob and Karen were married in 1960, and moved to Boston, MA, where Bob worked as a union carpenter on many important construction projects, including the Prudential Center in Boston and Technology Square in Cambridge.  While in Boston, they started raising their 4 children.  They moved back to Central NY in 1970 to be closer to their families, settling in Ovid, where they lived for more than 50 years, raising their children and being an integral part of the Community.

Bob continued working as a union carpenter until he started his own construction and remodeling company, working on numerous projects throughout the Finger Lakes.  He was a proud member of the Carpenter’s Union in Boston and then the Ithaca local 277 for more than 60 years.

He performed many community services, including serving as Town Justice for many years, mowing the lawn at the Ovid Federated Church, constructing the gazebo and rebuilding the ‘Papa Bear’ wood stairs at the Three Bears historical site in Ovid.  He was involved in Boy Scouts and coached little league.  He was passionate about supporting his children in their athletic and other high school pursuits, rarely missing a game or event.

Most of all he was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. There was nothing he enjoyed more than being surrounded by family, the more chaotic the better.  He was beloved for his special sense of humor, and ‘grandpa-isms’. 

Bob is survived by his wife of 62 years, Karen, a son, Robert (Lauren) Corning Jr. of Belmont, MA and their children, Anna and Trevor; a daughter, Christine (Terry) Malloy and their children, Jacob (McKenna), Max and Hannah;  and the children of his late son, David: Christopher (Mariah), David Charles (Courtney Griffin), Eli (Kristen DeMarco) and Sarah; and by his great grandchildren, Bennett, Nolan, Quinn and Wilder; his sisters, Dorothy Fleming of Elmira and Mary Anne Smith of Auburn. Bob was preceded in death by his sons, Charles E. “Chuck” in 1987 and David J. in 2021, as well as his sister Marge Campbell.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 to Noon on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Ovid Federated Church in Ovid. A Memorial Service will be held at the church at Noon, officiated by Pastor Rob Mellgard.  Prayers of committal will be held at Ovid Union Cemetery.  A reception will follow.  Kindly consider a donation in Bob’s memory to The Friends of the Three Bears:



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert M. Corning, please visit our floral store.


March 12, 2022

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Ovid Federated Church (Ovid)

Memorial Service
March 12, 2022

12:00 PM
Ovid Federated Church


Friends of the Three Bears
PO Box 75, Ovid NY 14521

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