On Monday, March 30, Cordelia Bordwell died peacefully with her family at her side. Her granddaughter Deborah sang ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ to her minutes before she entered God’s presence.
Cordelia Bordwell, nee Cordelia Reed, was born June 1, 1906 in Fort Smith, Arkansas to Merle and Goldie Reed. For the first 16 years of her life, she lived in Fort Smith until her parents moved to California, settling in Riverside. Cordelia attended high school and college in Riverside. Thereafter, she worked for the Southern Sierra Water Company in the accounting department, under the direction of Joseph Bordwell, who was eventually to become her father-in-law.
Lowry, Cordelia’s brother, introduced her to his good friend Alden Bordwell. A long courtship ensued; after seven years, they were married at the Mission Inn in Riverside on June 10, 1931. Alden had become a Medical Doctor shortly before their marriage; together they worked building his practice during the difficult years of the Depression era.
Alden and Cordelia were the proud parents of three children; Donna Lee, Joseph Shipp, and Merle Reed. They had six grandchildren, and Cordelia lived to see five great-grandchildren added to their family tree. She was affectionately called Deedee by her grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.
Dr. Bordwell served in the Riverside medical field for over 40 years, with Cordelia at his side not only in the front office, but also as his aide when he made house calls for countless families. Alden was credited with delivering over 4000 babies including his own three and most of his grandchildren, a fact Cordelia was proud to relate. During her years in Riverside, Cordelia was very active in the Riverside Women’s Club, serving as President several terms. She also was involved in the United Methodist Church of Riverside; singing, playing the organ, assisting the Stephen’s Ministry, and in her latter years, as their librarian.
Volunteerism was a way of life for Cordelia; her many years as a ‘Pink Lady’ were spent at Knollwood and Parkview Hospitals of Riverside. After her move to Orange County, she ‘ran’ the residents’ store at the retirement home where she resided and worked with the new resident greeting team. On her 100th birthday, the Park Terrace Home named the store after her; ‘Cordelia’s Country Store’.
She was also feted by the mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita on her 100th birthday; he proclaimed June 1, 2006 ‘Cordelia Bordwell Day’ for the city of RSM. A large party was given in her honor, with family, friends, and residents of Park Terrace in attendance. A long weekend in Palm Springs continued the celebration with her entire family present. When asked what her advice would be for her family, she quickly replied ‘love one another’. Many admirers would inquire as to her ‘secret’ for such a long life; she would always answer them with ‘just keep on, keep going’. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, fellow residents at Park Terrace, and church family at Rancho Santa Margarita’s United Methodist Church.
Cordelia was preceded in death by her parents, brother Lowry and sister Goldie Merle Volkman, her loving husband of 47 years Alden, her dear daughter Donna Domanski, two granddaughters, Margaret Bordwell and Merlina Rigo, daughter-in-law Willy Bordwell and grandson-in-law Dennis Mihelic. She is survived by her sons Joe and his wife Margie, Merle and his wife Edna, grandchildren Mark Bordwell, Michele Cross, Teresa Mihelic who was her loving caregiver, Deborah Domanski, son-in-law David Domanski and his wife Dorothy, and great-grandchildren Alden Bordwell, Andrea Bordwell, Grace Bordwell, Patrick Mihelic and Michael Rigo.
Services for Cordelia will be at the O’Connor Mortuary, 25301 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, on Friday, April 3 at 4PM. Graveside services for immediate family will be held Saturday, April 4 at Evergreen Cemetery in Riverside. She will be laid to rest next to her husband Dr. Alden Bordwell.