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Helen Marie Codori

Helen Marie Codori

Mar 5, 1934 - Jun 13, 2022

Helen Marie Codori - Obituary

Suddenly on June 13, 2022, Helen Marie Codori nee Bucci departed this life. As the 88-year-old healthy daughter of a woman who lived to the age of 100, her death has left her family heartbroken and in shock. The cause of her death remains undetermined at this time. Helen Marie Bucci was born at the Old Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 1934, the second child and only daughter of Edward Joseph Bucci, Sr, and his wife, Cecilia Nancy Presutti. Although both of her parents were born in Washington, D.C., all of her grandparents and most of her aunts and uncles were born in Sulmona, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy before the family emigrated in March 1902 and settled in the D.C. area where farmland was still available. In the Italian tradition, Helen’s father became a tile setter and was one of the craftsmen who built La Reine High School in Suitland, MD in the late 1950's, the school from which all of Helen’s daughters graduated. Until her retirement, Helen’s mother was a sales associate at S. Kann, Sons & Co., once Washington’s second largest department store. Although she had the elegance and demeanor of a refined lady, according to most accounts of her childhood, Helen was a tomboy who played baseball with her two brothers and her father, who was the Manager of the Silver Hill Sand and Gravel baseball team, part of the Washington Baseball Club. She lived on Hagan Rd. in Temple Hills, MD for most of her youth and attended Oxon Hill Elementary and High School, from which she graduated in 1952. She was a girl of many talents and boundless energy and put them to good use in the school’s choral group, theater troupe, basketball team, girl scouts and cheerleading squad. In her senior year, she was elected by fellow students to be the Queen of the Prom. After graduating, Helen worked briefly as a sales clerk at Lansburgh’s Department Store in Washington, D.C., and later as a secretary with the U.S. Census Bureau. Her social life as a young adult took her to the Airmen’s Club at Andrew’s Air Force Base for their occasional dances. At one of those, she met her future husband and love of her life, a handsome city boy from Philadelphia. On April 20, 1954, they were married at the historic Saint Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Oxon Hill, MD, where she had made her first holy communion and confirmation. She gave up the Census Bureau job and, for the next many years, Helen was extraordinarily busy as mother to the five daughters who blessed their marriage. Helen was an incredibly devoted and loving mother. She went to every spelling bee, Boys and Girls Club softball game, cheerleading try-out, basketball game, swim meet, theatrical performance, graduation and awards ceremony. If swim practice meant getting up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday, she did it without complaint. As a lane timer at swim meets for the Marlton Swim Team, she somehow managed to time her lane while simultaneously jumping up and down when one of her daughters won the race in the adjacent lane. She rejoiced in every success, soothed every disappointment and never criticized. She made her children feel loved and accepted. In the 1960's, she stumbled upon the concept of selling Avon Products on a very part-time basis and so began an enterprise that she nurtured until her retirement in 1996. Once the children had left the nest, Helen’s boss invited her to enter management training. Shortly thereafter, she became a district sales manager for Avon Products, which made her responsible for the mentoring of hundreds of sales associates. She won countless awards for her productivity, earning trips all over the U.S., including two trips to Hawaii, and international trips to Vienna and Budapest. She was gentle and personable on the outside yet quietly competitive and determined, which made for a highly successful career after motherhood and earned her a group of colleagues and friends whom she cherished for the rest of her life. Helen engaged in recreational pursuits with the same boundless energy that characterized her entire life. When her children were young, she sewed clothes for them and for herself, and her house was full of needle-work pillows and framed embroidery. She loved to bake, and her children’s lunch bags usually contained a slice of home-made cake. What innocently began as her annual batch of home-made Christmas fudge morphed into a spread of 15 different kinds of cookies and bars, arrayed as little mountains of large and small metal Christmas tins. Her children had their favorites, so she lightheartedly policed who was taking what, to make sure that all got a fair share. If Christmas can be considered a hobby, it was definitely Helen’s favorite. She embraced the celebration of the Holy Day and holiday with great enthusiasm. The Christmas season found Helen climbing ladders to hang the outside garland and lights, and decorating the interior with Santa’s, angels, nutcrackers, lighted trees, candles, ivy, berries and red bows. Every window was lit by traditional 5-light amber candles. However, she took the most joy in giving gifts to her family, which she did through her last Christmas in 2021. She made the Yule magic. Helen was blessed with two grandsons and graced them with the same unconditional love that she offered her children. It showed in the way her grandsons lit up in her presence, how they fought over who got to sit next to Nana at dinner and how they ran into her arms after long separations. They brought joy to one another. Helen babysat, helped with potty-training, enjoyed playing board games, and attended birthday parties, Grandparents’ Days, bowling and mini-golf outings, Irish dance competitions, and graduations (either in person or via Zoom). She was their biggest cheerleader and was very proud of the young men they have become. Though she hated getting her hair wet, she even did that for her grandsons during the annual family vacations to Sea Isle City, NJ. Helen was generous to a fault, kind, gentle and flexible, yet she had a will of iron and strength that was easy to overlook in someone of her disposition. She was a woman of faith and a member of Most Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Rosaryville, MD for 54 years. Throughout her life, family came first. She never missed the Sunday spaghetti dinners with the entire Bucci clan, the crab feasts with her brothers’ families, and the pre-Thanksgiving pie-baking parties where she taught everyone how to make the perfect pie crust. She loved family vacations at Ocean City, MD, Bethany Beach, DE, and Sea Isle City, NJ. Helen had a lovely singing voice, which she used not only for sing alongs but also to gently awaken her sleeping children in time for school. She loved the crooners, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett and could remember all the words to the songs of her youth. To the end, she was vital and physically spry. She kept up with current events, was computer savvy and was on her Facebook account daily; she knew the latest news about the family before her daughters. For the last two years of her life, Helen was the loving, full-time care-giver for her husband, Laurence, who had advanced Parkinson’s Disease. She had her eye on living to the age of 100, and her family believed that she was a strong contender in that race. Helen is survived by her beloved husband of 68 years, Laurence Murray Codori, Jr., her loving children and their spouses Ann Marie Codori (George H. Fisk), Nancy Codori (Richard E. Boardman), Margaret Codori, Michele Codori (Susan L. Spence), all of Baltimore, and Jeanne Marie Codori-Hurff (Christopher Hurff) of Winchester, MA, her cherished grandsons, Evan Codori Boardman and Aidan Laurence Hurff. She is also survived by her dear brothers and their spouses Edward Joseph Bucci, Jr. (Maryanna nee Moyer), James Joseph Bucci (Mary Lu nee Brookbank), and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews. Helen’s family invites relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues to her Visitation / Christian Wake Service on Wednesday, June 22nd, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 6160 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, MD 20745. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, June 23rd, at 12:00 Noon at Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 9961 Rosaryville Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 with interment to follow at Resurrection Cemetery, 8000 Woodyard Rd, Clinton, MD 20735. Memorial contributions may be made to The Helen Bucci Codori Endowed Scholarship at the Bishop McNamara High School: https://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/16625/donations/new (Choose “Scholarship Designation”).