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Herman Alfred Cornelsen

Posted By Egan Funeral Home On March 29, 2021 @ 2:06 pm In Bolton Area,Obituaries | 24 Comments

Cornelsen Web

Herman Alfred Cornelsen was born on September 7, 1945, in Elmshorn, Germany. In 1956, his family emigrated to Vancouver, BC, where Herman, at the age of 10, adapted to life in a new culture. He started high school at John Oliver and ­finished at Mennonite Educational Institute in Clearbrook, BC. He became passionate about cars and motorcycles. After working in construction and as a ­shing boat mechanic in Prince Rupert, he joined Nican, an importing company. This took him to Montreal and ­ finally Toronto where, with two partners, he established FullBore, a motorcycle parts and accessories importer and distributor. He led the company until failing health forced him to step back in 2020. In 1984, on his birthday, he married Dawn Lambert. Together they had two children, Steven in 1985 and Robyn in 1994. After living in the Greater Toronto area for many years, the family bought an 8-acre hobby farm outside the city, in Caledon. They enjoyed the outdoor life and the company of many cats, dogs, chickens, sheep, goats, llamas, and Dawn’s beloved horses. Herman had space to revive his love of collecting classic cars. Though he lived far from his siblings and parents, Herman maintained those relationships with frequent trips westward. Herman died March 23, 2021 at his home in the presence of his family. He was predeceased by his parents, Erwin and Hildur (Deckert) Cornelsen. He is survived and will be missed deeply by his wife, Dawn, son, Steven (Mitsue), and daughter, Robyn (Thomas); brothers George (Eveline), Henry (Jeannie), Sig  (Dorothy), and Rick (Dori) and their families; relatives, friends and business colleagues all over the world.

For further re‑ections and photos, and to convey condolences and stories, please visit www.rememberingherman.wordpress.com.

Private family funeral service will be held at the Egan Funeral Home, 203 Queen Street S. (Hwy. 50), Bolton (905-857-2213) on Wednesday, March 31 at 11 o’clock.  Followed by cremation.  The family invites those who wish to view the service to do so through live streaming at


If you experience any issues or have questions in regards to the live streaming, please feel free to contact Forget Me Not Ceremonies at 1-877-895-2739.  If you need to leave a message on their answering machine, they will return your call promptly. 

Condolences for the family may be offered at www.EganFuneralHome.com

Condolences for the family of “Herman Alfred Cornelsen”

Condolence from jim sibthorpe on March 30th, 2021 1:34 pm

Herman will be missed by myself and many motorcyclist always enthusiastic and sincire with agreat scense of humor rest in peace buddy

Condolence from Peter Dick on March 30th, 2021 2:48 pm

I will think of Herman every time I ride the 1988 Honda CB450S that he more or less gifted to me for a nominal fee more than 20 years ago, every time I enjoy black forest cake which was his signature dessert and every time I think about back country roads in BC in which was also an interest of his. He is gone way too soon.

Condolence from Marie Penner on March 30th, 2021 5:40 pm

I remember Herman as intelligent, fun-loving and always ready for adventure.
May he rest in peace and we wish strength and courage to Dawn , Steven and Robyn as they begin in a new phase in life.

Condolence from Marine Miriam Quarin on March 30th, 2021 8:21 pm

Sending my sincere sympathy and condolences on the loss of your wonderful husband and father Herman. I can’t even begin to understand what you and your family are feeling or going through right now. Just know I am thinking of you.

Condolence from Rowena Shadrack on March 30th, 2021 8:50 pm

Our condolences to Dawn, Steven and Robyn. To lose a husband or father is life altering. May his humour and strength always be in you and with you.
Rest In Peace, HTG.

Rowena and Daryl Shadrack

Condolence from Nanci Fulton on March 31st, 2021 2:09 am

Herman swept my friend Dawn off her feet as soon as they met.
Only a very special man could have done that.
Thank you Herman for loving and looking after my friend .
My love and condolences to your family.

Condolence from John McBride on March 31st, 2021 7:37 am

With a sad heart we the McBride family offer our deepest condolences.Herman and I traveled many times together over the last 40 years. He was like a brother to me, sometimes a father. I will miss our talks we had every time I visited Full Bore and the way he help point me in the right direction. R.I.P.

Condolence from Paige Turner on March 31st, 2021 7:46 am

I had the privilege to meet Herman when Humber graduate students attended his and Dawn’s home in Caledon. Dawn was beaming as she explained that Herman installed a stain glass in one of their doors. It was made in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright who Dawn admired. You could tell that Dawn was so taken with the surprise of this stain glass gift by Herman. It was actions like this that Herman did for his family that made him more than just a father and husband, he was a special person.

My heart goes out to Dawn, Stephen, and Robyn for the loss of Herman. Sending you comfort.

Condolence from Irene Cropper on March 31st, 2021 8:46 am

Herman will be missed by many many friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Dawn and your family.
Bob and Irene Cropper

Condolence from Andrew Juhasz on March 31st, 2021 9:35 am

Going to miss Herman a lot. Friend, amazing boss, our long conversations on classic cars, Herman’s fix – all miracle putty, I could ramble on. My sincerest condolences to Dawn, Steven and Robin.

Condolence from Debi McCallen on March 31st, 2021 12:39 pm

What a beautiful service for Herman. I am so sorry for your loss of such a magnificent man. We truly have lost one of the earth angels here and he will be truly missed. I will keep my memories of him close to my heart ❤️ ❤️ My thoughts and prayers are with you, Stephen & Robyn. May you find the strength, peace and love you need through this extremely difficult time. Sending you my love and hugs

Condolence from Maureen on March 31st, 2021 6:57 pm

Having only met Herman and Dawn early in 2020, I have been touched by their kindness and love of animals. I wish I had more years to get to know Herman, he was my kind of person. Dawn, my thoughts have been with you all through this journey and I am happy we met so I could help you navigate it all. My sincere heartfelt sympathy to you and the kids on the loss of your beloved partner and father.

blue dragonfly myu myu

Condolence from Lisa Rotenberg on March 31st, 2021 8:53 pm

Our dear friends, Dawn and Herman, for almost 40 years on so many levels from design, work, fun, dogs, kids, clothes, cooking, babies, weddings, travel and parents. Recently helping each other by long talks over video while our families had stuff going on. Friends for life and cherished memories of Herman are treasured.

With absolutely the most cherished thoughts for all of you,
Lisa and Matthew

Condolence from Louise Ellison on April 1st, 2021 1:01 pm

My dearest friend Dawn,

Words cannot fully express how sorry I am for the loss of your partner, the father of your children… your soul mate in life. You two where a special pair. Herman was a special person and always held a special place in my heart. I remember the first time I met the two of you over 36 years ago. Fullbore had just started up, I had just arrived from Ottawa, and Herman quickly put be to work. Not only did we have computers to set up, but you had just had Steven. He was 3 months old when you came bounding through the front doors and quickly handed him off to me so you could speak with Herman… I have to admit, I sensed a bit of gratitude from Herman on that day. He had learned that I needed a place to stay until my apartment became available and suggested I come and live in your nanny suit until that day came. You didn’t even know me, and you made that generous offer. Needless to say, our friendship blossomed from that day onward. Back in that day, Herman was my “boss”, but he was also my mentor and a force in my life. Always fair and honest and soft spoken. I looked up to Herman like a father. He always had good advice and always had a story, using plenty of analogies, when giving that advice. I can recall on many occasions after I went from working at Fullbore to working with the Federal Government, that I went back to the advice that HTG had given me. That advice, and the strong work ethic he also instilled in me, went a long way during my career with the government. I have him to thank for that, but best of all, I have him to thank for you.

I wish you Dawn, Steven, and Robyn strength during this time of sadness. My deepest condolences to all of you.


Condolence from Franz Walker on April 2nd, 2021 10:58 am

I first met Herman as a customer ordering from Full-Bore, then worked there for a spell at the end of the 90s. Herman was like a father to all of us who worked there, always smiling, even tempered and full of wisdom. I can’t overstate how pivotal my time at Full-Bore was to my subsequent roles in the industry. Herman’s influence will live on in all of us who were fortunate enough to learn from him.
Thank you Herman, we’re going to miss you.

Condolence from Tannis Chequis on April 2nd, 2021 11:32 am

Being a northern bc cousin of Dawn’s , I only met Herman a few times, and I considered Herman kind and steadfast, and was thrilled for Dawn. I am really grateful that they had many years together. I extend heartful prayers towards Dawn, Stephen and Robyn for grace to help through the days to come . Love to you all. Tannis

Condolence from Dawn on April 2nd, 2021 1:47 pm

My Tribute to my husband, Herman:

The love of my life has left this earth peacefully, in our home with me by his side (those home hospital beds are tiny). He’s gone onto a new adventure.
He was one of the strongest, kindest, most generous men I have ever known, but he was tired. He struggled with kidney disease, which weakened his body bit by bit, for four years.
He did NOT give up, he wanted to fight to be with his family. We all fought with him, and it finally became clear that his time was near. We brought him home for palliative care, so he could be with his family. No more tests. No more dialysis. He was comfortable and at peace.
He knew me, loved me, and I am a better person for having been with him for the last 41 years. He was deeply loyal. He was brave and strong, and our family’s rock and rudder. He always had our backs.
I will miss him fiercely and I know this will be hard. He needed to know that we would be ok. We will, but not having my best friend by my side will leave a huge hole in my heart, until we meet again.

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Condolence from Marla Stepanek on April 2nd, 2021 2:14 pm

Dear Dawn and Family,
So very sorry to hear about Herman’s passing – it was a shock. Although Dawn you and I have been friends for over 50 years now, unfortunately we did not see you and Herman too often after you married mostly due to the distance between us. What I did know is that you two were very happy together and had built a great life in Ontario with Steven and Robyn and friends and family. Again, deepest condolences during this sad time. Love, Marla and Vash.

Condolence from Mario Péloquin on April 2nd, 2021 3:22 pm

Doing business with Herman was always a pleasure. He was a Gentleman with a big “G” The Canadian Powersport community lost one of it’s Icon!
My deepest sympathies to his Family and close ones.

Condolence from David on April 2nd, 2021 9:24 pm

I cant believe I’ve known Herman for 31 years. Allways a pleasant person but most important a gentleman and Mensch. I will truly miss seeing him. God bless

Condolence from Pete Moore on April 4th, 2021 3:36 pm

My condolences to Dawn and family. I first met Herman as a software consultant at Full-Bore. We worked together on several projects and he was always cheerful , even tempered and full of wisdom. I enjoyed working with him because he knew the information he required to run a successful business and I felt I was fortunate enough to learn from him.
Thank you Herman, we’re going to miss you.

Condolence from Sarah Malaison-Brooks on April 5th, 2021 8:49 am

I am truly sorry for your loss. I would like to offer you and your family my deepest and most sincere condolences. My prayers are with you and you family.

Condolence from Peter Dick on April 10th, 2021 7:04 pm

Some recollections sent by friends of Herman via Peter Dick:

I have been thinking a lot about Herman. Had a nice conversation with Dawn a few days ago.Yes I believe he was a good story teller and had a sense of humour. I can’t recall a particular story. Did he not have a story of ‘Christmas trees that he trucked from Quebec to Toronto to sell.? He made his life interesting. .I met his first wife, but it was Dawn that made him happy. Yes he was a jeweler. He made a bracelet for me from the gold in my teeth. His father polished stones and gave me one once. I have told his niece (through Christine) that Toronto Mennonite Church is holding him in prayers.My heart goes out to Dawn and Stephen and Robin who will miss him so much. Blessings to you Peter and Gini who are giving them all support at this time. Marie Penner

I have fond memories of pool parties in the summer and Herman’s black forest cake (especially the booze added). I also got to ride a dirt bike for the first time (a maybe only time) with Steven.Alex remembers the Christmas dinner they hosted several years ago when Charles and Sakurako were here. We still have the Amaryllis that they gave us.So many fond memories :). Please give our best wishes Herman. Jacob & Alex

Herman introduced me to Monty Python, both the shows and the movies. This was excellent education! I also remember watching hours of Looney Tunes and Popeye at their place on Kipling, while babysitting Steven. My favourite story of Herman is when he helped the neighbour’s cow deliver a calf. Please pass on our thoughts and best wishes to Dawn and Herman. Kathleen

Many of us are in the evening of our day aren’t we. I think I only met him once. We talked motorcycles and gst rebates. I do have the recollection that he has been a special friend to you. Please pass my kind regards to him. Walter Dick

This is sad news. I had hope when you last mentioned Hermann that he might slowly be on the mend, but clearly things have gone in a very different direction. I do not know Hermann well, indeed I only remember him and Dawn from TUMC in the 1980s. THe age difference between us is not great, but when I was growing up it was enough of a difference to put Hermann in an older generation, one that I did not have a connection with, except in a general way. Of course, everyone knew the Cornelson family, (families, really).

So the connection is now pretty thin, but I would be glad if you wished him well from someone who connected with him at TUMC in the 80s, based on connections going back to Vancouver. I did not really know Hermann growing up in Vancouver as he was a little older than me at a point in life when not so many years put you in a different generation. I did get to know his brother Sig; everyone, it seemed, knew his father, a man who was respected and loved by a great many people–and not just in the Mennonite community.

In the 80s Hermann and Dawn showed up at TUMC and we made a connection then, and I recall Marie and Paul having all of us over for a meal (thank you Marie, for all the kindness you have always shown me and my whole family).Ernie Hamm

It’s been with great sadness that we’ve been reading the news you’ve been sending us about Herman. It’s difficult to find words that could be helpful but he has certainly been in our thoughts over the past months. I remember Herman happily introducing Dawn the first time she attended TUMC. Later, I remember all our boys dressed up as animals for the Sunday school Christmas concert at TUMC. Marie-Carmelle remembers a meeting of the cooking club at our home when Dawn brought some cookies shaped like dogs with black and white icing. They were too beautiful to eat and remained as decorations for a long time. We wish Herman peace and freedom from pain. Marie-Carmelle and Ed Heese

What I do remember about Herman is that he was one of the best natural story tellers that I have known. We would regularly have us all in stitches with his reflections on day to day events as well as epic tales such as the casket story. He had a slow dry style with sardonic insights into the human condition. David Bergen

I agree with brother Dave. Herman’s story telling was so engaging and humorous that I can still remember them today. Karl Bergen

I don’t have any particular memories because l didn’t know Herman that well but l would like him to know that the prayer chain at Church and a small group of us who gather weekly for Zoom prayer are remembering him and Dawn and his family and we will continue to do so. Also l was talking with Loretta Fast on Monday and told her about Herman’s health crisis and she was saddened to hear of that. She remembered him well and would send warm greetings to him if she knew you were going to visit him. Prayers will be with you two today as well as you bring love and comfort to your friends. Judi Bergen

Like Judi, I remember Herman and Dawn well in that their physical appearance is well imprinted in my mind as is the sound of his voice. But beyond that I have no particular recollections; I usually met him at church but never had the opportunity to share a beer or cigar with him. I did recall that he was somehow connected to the motorcycle industry, and that he lived “up north” somewhere, and that is about it. It is always sad when the body starts to decline, and I trust that you and Gini can be of some comfort to Herman and Dawn. Ed Bergen

Thank you for this update on Herman. Shirley grew up in Chilliwack and knew of the Cornelson family through Vancouver in-laws who knew the family, but Shirley and I only know Herman and Dawn through TUMC. At one of the Pax Christi fund raising dinners, you seated us with Herman and Dawn and we certainly remember being entertained by Herman’s stories. His entrepenurial spirit was something that was unique and to be admired. Please extend our good wishes to Herman and Dawn. John and Shirley Lobach

Condolence from Dan Devlin on May 2nd, 2021 10:20 am

Sincere condolences to Herman’s wife Dawn and family. Herman was my closest friend during our boyhood and early years in south Vancouver. We were both “delivery boys” – Herman for a grocery store and me for a drug store. Herman was always entrepreneurial and we sold pop and chocolate bars to thirsty golfers on Langara Golf course, near our homes. We rode our bikes for many miles to Burnaby Lake to go horseback riding! Late teens we took backroad trips in Herman’s old Plymouth (good thing he was mechanical) and in our friend Clyde’s old Ford. As life goes on and Herman moved east we saw much less of each other, but when he visited his family in Vancouver he sometimes travelled up to Gibsons for a visit. I see Henry from time to time and he thoughtfully let me know of Herman’s death.

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