February 20, 1936 ~ November 13, 2005

Born in: Asheville, NC,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Asheville ~ Dr. Charles Edward Cordell, 69, of Asheville, died Sunday, November 13, 2005, at his home, following a battle against prostate cancer since January, 2000. Dr. Cordell was born in Asheville and was a son of the late Eddgar H. and Nora May Frady Cordell. He was a 1954 graduate of Oakley High School and served in the US Marine Corps from 1954 to 1957. He attended Asheville-Biltmore College in 1957 and 1958 and received his BS from NC State University and his MS and PhD from Duke University. Dr. Cordell retired from the US Forestry Service after 33 years and more recently spent the majority of his time with Plant Health Care, Inc., in the forestry and land reclamation industries. He also managed the MycorTree seedling production operation with designated contract growers. Dr. Cordell was considered a leading authority in the technology transfer and practical application of ectomycorrhizae in forest tree nurseries, field restoration, Christmas tree production, mineland reclamation and other related forest tree uses. He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in forest pathology and ectomycorrhizal fungi applications, including the USDA Forest Service Certificate of Merit Award (1982, 1990, & 1991). He is the former National Mycorrhizal Coordinator and Nursery Specialist, USDA Forest Service. He has authored more than 100 scientific papers and lectured throughout the U.S. and abroad. He has also been active in cultivating his beloved Christmas trees since his retirement. Surviving are his wife, Nancy Lee Turner Cordell; four children, Linda C. Hall and her husband Steve of Weaverville, Brenda C. Burrell and her husband Jody of Asheville, Saundra C. Devinney and her husband Bryan of Pickens, SC, and Edward Duane Cordell and his wife Amber of Alexander; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Burrell, Phillip Burrell, Jonathan Burrell, Amanda Hall, Kelly Hall, Linda Cordell and Jake Cordell; two sisters, Gwen McDuffie of Mebane and Reva Johnson of Leland; and six brothers, C.D. Turner of Woodleaf, Harold Turner of Metairie, LA, John Turner of Durham, Jim Turner of Raleigh, Mac Turner of Wake Forest and Kenneth Turner of Louisburg. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Biltmore Church of God with the Revs. Daniel Allen and Marjorie Allen officiating. Burial will be at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Steve Hall, Jody Burrell, Bryan Devinney, Phillip Burrell, Jonathan Burrell, and Jerry Howard. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Don Maix, Dr. Steve Maul, Dr. Mike Kernan, Dr. Dave Brown, Dr. Bill Stambaugh, and Dr. Coleman Doggett. Dr. Cordell will be taken to the Biltmore Church of God Tuesday evening where his family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to Mountain Area Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813, or to Biltmore Church of God, 1390 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803.

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  1. Duane & Amber and Cordell Family,
    You all are in our thoughts and prayers and may God comfort and strengthen you during this time of sorrow.
    Jim & Claudette McNaughton

  2. We thank God for Ed’s life, especially for his mentoring of Steve’s early career and his support of us in our early days in Asheville as newlyweds.

  3. You were a bright shinning star to
    this family. You will truly be missed! With love and prayers Carolyn Haynes, daughter of the late Samual Alex and Helen Sharpe.

  4. Dr. Cordell introduced me to southern nurseries and to Pt ectomycorrhizae. He left a wealth of information on forest diseases and ectomycorrhizae for the southern nurseries that is still relied on today. I also loved to get his Christmas trees every year when I lived up in Asheville. He will be missed. –Michelle Cram.

  5. Dr. Cordell worked at the Southern Research Station. He always had a smile and treated everyone with dignity and respect. He will truly be missed.

  6. Nancy,
    Our prayers are with you and your precious family, Ed will be greatly missed, but one consolation we have is that our loss is truly Heaven’s gain. Any time we can be of assistance don’t hesitate to let us know.
    Again, we will continue to hold you and your family up in our prayers that God will comfort you in the days to come.

  7. Ed was an inspiration to me not only when I was a graduate student but later as a plant pathologist consultant working with mycorrhizae at numerous state nurseries. Working with him in the field has inspired and enriched my own career. I will miss him greatly and think of him every time I work with our favorite subject – mycorrhizae. Alan Iskra

  8. I was saddened to hear of Ed’s passing. He was an interesting coworker and a very kind man. I know he will be deeply missed.

  9. Dearest Nancy and Children, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I am Nellie’s cousin, and so appreciated your love and kindness to her. I pray you and your family the love and support you have given others. God Bless You All. Love, Frances and Ed

  10. I am so sorry. I know everyone will miss Ed. He and I had many experiences together over the years. Although we will miss him I am sure he is happy with Jesus and I look forward to seeing him someday. Nancy, you and your family have my deepest sympathy

  11. I worked for Ed during the summer of 1975. Since then, I attribute much of the success in my career with the Forest Service to Ed. I learned and lot from Ed and always enjoyed working with him. We had a lot of fun working on Christmas trees together. He will be missed.

  12. I had occasion to work with Ed some in my early career here in Pineville with the Forest Service and saw him at many meetings until his retirement. Ed was a great guy and a tireless worker. He contributed greatly to the field of forest pathology. I’m glad I knew him.

  13. I knew Ed from the time I came on board in the late 70’s. I never worked with Ed directly, but really respected his knowledge and work ethic. He alwasys gave more than he received, and I think that is the way he wanted it. God Bless, Jim D. smith

  14. In this life there are special people who touches your life. Ed was one of those who touched mine.I will miss that loving smile and warm hand shake.Praise GOD he has a home in the Kingdom Of God.We are praying for you Nancy and Family.

  15. Duane and Amber Cordell,

    What wonderful accomplishments Mr. Cordell achieved throughout his life, we are certain he was a very dear and beloved man.

    Throughout this difficult time, may the lord hold you in the hollow of his hand.

    Jonathan and Ann Marie Tolley

  16. To everyone that knew my sweet and wonderful Daddy-
    My greatest hope is that you have only fond memories of him and that you will help us forever keep his memory alive. I know that I will always have a hole in my heart for the bravest man I ever knew. Nobody could ever ask for a better example of how to trust God in trying situations. I promise to stay close to God so I can see my Daddy again and will try my best to show his great love to my family and everyone else I meet. I miss you Daddy. We will always love you.


  17. I am sincerely saddened to learn of Ed’s passing. I worked with him at various nurseries, with Mycorr Tech and with Plant Health Care, Inc. Ed managed to make hard work seem enjoyable. He was very likeable and a genuine friend, whom I am honored to have known. Ed was a scientist, a prolific writer, and a real professional. But through it all he was as humble as apple pie. I will really miss him.


  19. I have many fond memories of Edward from the 1st grade thru 12. My thoughts are with the family, and I’m sincerely sorry about your loss.

    John and Alice Ledbetter

  20. It sadden me greatly to hear of Ed’s passing. I met Ed about 25 years ago in a professional capacity,he was an excellent scientist. But more than that he became a true friend, a truly special person, a friend you could depend on. Ed taught me Christmas tree growing and I will remember him as I cut and sell trees.
    I will be looking forward to seeing him again on the other side.

  21. Nancy, (and all the family)
    Please know that you are all in our prayers. We love you! May God comfort you in this time & give you strength.

  22. Daddy,
    It has been 16 years since you went home. I miss you but am thankful you are in the palm of God’s hand! Until we meet again!
    Love you always,


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