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HUNTLEIGH, Mo. – The former president and CEO of Union Electric Company died this week at his home in Huntleigh.

William E. Cornelius worked for Union Electric, now Ameren Corporation, for more than 32 years and lived in St. Louis since 1955.

Surrounded by family, Cornelius died Wednesday of cancer at the age of 82.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Cornelius. Throughout his decades of service at Union Electric, now Ameren, Bill defined the course of our company and was instrumental in instilling the values that guide us today in our mission – to power the quality of life for our customers," said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation. "Bill worked tirelessly to make our communities and the St. Louis region a better place to live. He will be missed."

Before joining Union Electric, Cornelius served as a manager with Price Waterhouse & Company, and later was named an executive vice president.

Cornelius was known for his humanitarian work, and created programs to help people with energy-related problems, including the Dollar More program, and led fundraising for Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis' Community Outreach Center.

In 1991, Cornelius was named St. Louis Man of the Year and was honored with the Right Arm of St. Louis Award by the Regional Chamber and Growth Association. Two years later, he and his wife, Virginia, shared the Salvation Army's Others Award, along with many other awards throughout the years.

He also served on many boards throughout the St. Louis area.

Cornelius is survived by his wife, sister, Linda Dempsey (Herbert); daughters Jeanie Davis (Clark) and the Rev. Lindy Hardwick (Michael); five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter, who was born the day he died.

On Saturday, Aug. 16 a memorial will be held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 110 North Warson Road in Ladue. Contributions can be made to the St. Louis Area Foodbank or to St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

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