In Memory of




Obituary for Manfred "Fred" Cornelsen

Manfred “Fred” Cornelsen (you may have known him as Freddie or “The German”), age 85 of Gambrills, MD, retired as Vice President of Construction for Genco Masonry peacefully passed away on January 1, 2021. He was a true world citizen. He was born in Berlin, Germany and later moved to Canada.

At the age of 22 he met the love of his life and asked her to dance. Shortly after that dance, Jeanette and Fred were married. In 1965, Fred decided to find warmer weather and he moved his family to DC where he began his career at Genco Masonry.

Fred was educated at The Technical Institute of Berlin, Germany and The College of Ottawa, Canada, where he studied Engineering and Construction. During his career, Fred built some of the largest and most complicated masonry projects in the D.C. Metropolitan area, and was the recipient of numerous masonry excellence awards. He worked on many projects throughout his career, some of which you may recognize:

  • B.W.I. International Terminal, Baltimore, MD

  • Carnegie Institute, Washington, D.C.

  • Federal Triangle, Washington, D.C.

  • Georgetown University Quadrangle, Washington, D.C.

  • George Washington University Health & Rec Center, Washington, D.C.

  • University of Maryland, Byrd Stadium Upper Deck, College Park, MD

  • U.S. Air Arena Office Building, Landover, MD

  • Washington Adventist Hospital, Washington, D.C.

  • Washington Redskins N.F.L. Stadium, Landover, MD

Fred was passionate about his work and championed for others in the masonry profession. He enthusiastically shared his knowledge, whether it was giving guidance on a complicated project or instructing others on how to prepare pork loin on the grill, he loved to teach. Fred was a true engineer. He always strived to complete projects efficiently and implement valuable process improvements at work or at home.

After retirement, Fred enjoyed spending time on the golf course with Jeanette and friends, travelling, sailing, and finding the best food in town! He always knew the best place to find good crabs or lobster for dinner. Fred was well known for being an excellent cook too! He prepared amazing meals and loved to share what he knew about culinary perfection. Many of his family and friends benefited from his cooking instruction.

Manfred is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jeanette Cornelsen; two children,Rhonda Cornelsen and Robert Cornelsen; two granddaughters, Suzanne Pecoraro and Kristen Cornelsen; and a sister, Edith Grund.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Washington Adventist Hospital. Fred was avid about helping others and giving back to the community. He was impressed with the high caliber of staff and facilities of the Washington Adventist Hospital and spoke highly of their efforts to heal in a caring way. Donations can be made in memory of Manfred Cornelsen by visiting the web site: https://

Family and friends will be received on Friday, January 8, 2021 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD. All are encouraged to post memories and thoughts on the funeral home's memory board located on this page.

Pandemic permitting we will be honoring Fred with a viking funeral style celebration this summer.