Carolyn Kornick, retired teacher and family matriarch, dies

Carolyn Gessler Kornick was the matriarch of her large family. She at age 90.
Carolyn Gessler Kornick was the matriarch of her large family. She at age 90. (GreenStudiosLLC / HANDOUT)

Carolyn Gessler Kornick, a retired teacher and matriarch of a large family, died March 30 of dementia complications at the Maples Assisted Living in Towson. The former Lutherville resident was 90.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Irvington, she was the daughter of Joseph Gessler, a plumber, and his wife, Margaret.


She attended St. Joseph Monastery School and was a 1944 graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from what is now Notre Dame of Maryland University, she taught in the Baltimore City public schools and later at Red House Run Elementary School.

In 1952 she married Herman Kornick Jr., an accountant, treasurer and controller of Tate auto dealerships.

She and her husband settled in Towson and later lived in the Bridlewood neighborhood of Lutherville.

With four children still at home, she returned to education in 1979. She took a job with Baltimore County's Home and Health Services and tutored school-aged children who were hospital patients.

She later left Baltimore County and worked with students with physical disabilities. Mrs. Kornick attended classes at Dulaney High School and what is now Loyola University Maryland. She also assisted with writing and editing assignments and exams.

Mrs. Kornick enjoyed entertaining and hosted family holiday gatherings. She ran a Christmas Eve open house at her Lutherville home that attracted 100 friends and family members. She was known for her old-fashioned pound cakes, which she gave as gifts.

Her husband of 45 years died in 1997.

"My mother was a much-loved mother and grandmother who took tremendous pride in her family, for whom she set high standards for kindness and happiness," said her daughter, Barbara Jones of Cockeysville.

"There was always room for one more around her table," her daughter said. "She was known for her bright smile, beautiful blue eyes and her caring demeanor."

A Mass was held April 4 at the Church of the Nativity, where she had been a founding member.

In addition to her daughter, survivors include three sons, Thomas Kornick of Cockeysville, William Kornick of Towson and James Kornick of Alexandria, Va.; three other daughters, Regina Anderson, of the Phoenix area of Baltimore County, Betty Carr of Timonium and Carol O'Connell of Sparks; a brother, Joseph Gessler of Sparks; a sister, Jean Westerfield of Ellicott City; 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.

--Jacques Kelly