Doris Cornwell peacefully passed away Oct. 2, 2021. She was 91 years old. In the final days of Doris’ life, she was comforted with her family surrounding her, sharing their favorite memories, telling stories, and doting on her with heartfelt words of love and affection.

Doris Cornwell

Doris, a lifelong resident of Exeter, Calif., was well-known as the owner and operator of the Kaweah Chuckwagon smorgasbord in Exeter. The Chuckwagon was originally the Kaweah Drive-In, built in 1948. They converted it to a smorgasbord in 1962 when they renamed it The Kaweah Chuckwagon. Many Exeter residents and Doris’ family members worked at the restaurant at one time or another. People still tell stories about their fried chicken. Her mother, Ethel, made pies for the restaurant until she was 80. When the restaurant closed, Doris followed in her mother’s footsteps and continued working until she was nearly 80 as the owner of Kaweah Chuckwagon Catering. Members of the Exeter Kiwanis Club and Lions Club will remember her for the meals she catered for many years. 

She had two great loves in her life, the Lord and her family. In her younger years, she and Harold loved to dance, winning many awards and trophies. She also enjoyed reading; you could always find a stack of magazines or books next to her bed or couch. Doris will be missed by her family for her willingness and desire to drop whatever she was doing to help them in any way she could. Her loving spirit, sense of humor, ability to tell a great story, and her cooking are just a few reasons her family adored her. Her legendary recipes will be carried on by her family for generations to come.

Doris is now with the Lord and reunited with her husband, Harold Cornwell; her mother, Ethel Weatherhead; her ‘daddy’, Earl Weatherhead; and her oldest son, Hal Cornwell. She is survived by her son and daughter in-law, Rick and Lori Cornwell; her daughter, Joanne Gow; grandchildren, Cheri Sciacca and lifetime Love Jesse Gonzales, Rachelle and husband Jeff Wilshusen, Michael and wife Melissa Cornwell, Richard Cornwell, Angela and husband Steve Hawkins, Ryan and wife Dusty Ward, Keegan Ward, Megan and husband Josh Caldwell, and Trevor Gow; great grandchildren, Lindsey Sciacca, Landon Sciacca, Kaleigh Wilshusen, Macey Wilshusen, Ally Wilshusen, Casey Wilshusen, Kenny Cornwell, Jessica Cornwell, Morgan Brown, Mitchell Brown, Devyn Brown, Delaney and husband Ryan Wickham, Payton Ward, Evie Ward and her husband Michael Fugere, Maddy Ward, Faith Caldwell, Trenton Caldwell, Braden Caldwell, Colton Caldwell; and a great-great grandchild, Shepard Wickham.

Family and friends will remember her life at a graveside service at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 at the Exeter Cemetery Please share your stories about Doris ‘Grandma Cornwell’ on the Smith Family Chapel website or, if you are able to attend, share them with the family at the service. The family will have a private celebration of life following the services. All the family favorite recipes will be prepared in her honor. Services entrusted to Smith Family Chapel, Exeter. Online condolences may be sent to

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