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Laurence Murray Codori, Jr.

Laurence Murray Codori, Jr.

Aug 20, 1931 - Nov 3, 2023

Laurence Murray Codori, Jr. - Obituary

On November 3, 2023, Laurence M. Codori, Jr. departed this life peacefully following several years of declining health due to Parkinson’s disease. His five daughters, their spouses, and his two grandsons are broken-hearted, but they feel some measure of solace knowing that he is no longer suffering and is now in the warm embrace of his late wife, Helen M. Codori (nee Bucci), who passed away suddenly in June 2022. Laurence M. Codori, Jr. was born in Philadelphia on August 20, 1931, the first son and fifth of six children of the late Dr. Laurence Murray Codori, Sr. and his wife, Marie Agnes Silk. He was reared in Philadelphia in the Irish neighborhood known as "Swampoodle" and enjoyed playing sandlot football and pick-up basketball games. He was educated in the Philadelphia Catholic school system attending St. Columba School and graduating from Roman Catholic High School in 1949. He was known for his sharp wit and irreverent sense of humor, which at times was not fully-appreciated by some of his teachers. Laurence enjoyed spending summers with his sisters and brother at Medford Lakes, NJ where he enjoyed the family’s log cabin, the quiet wooded surroundings, swimming in the cool lake, and the thrill of horse jumping, which sparked his life-long passion for horses. Throughout his life, Laurence enjoyed watching boxing matches and could easily recount his favorite bouts and boxers spanning from his youth to present day. In addition, Laurence loved music and derived great comfort from it. He could recite musicians and songs even in his last days and some of his favorites included Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Al Martino, Dick Haymes, Jerry Vale, The Ink Spots, Johnny Mathis, George Shearing, and Glenn Miller. While he spent much of his life in the Washington, D.C. area, he remained a staunch Philadelphia Eagles fan. Following high school, Laurence enlisted in the United States Air Force, underwent basic training at Sampson Air Force Base near Rochester, NY and was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, CA where he trained to be a mechanic for a variety of aircraft, including the F-80, F-82, F-86, and P-51. He served in the Korean War, spending 13 months in Japan and 11 months in Kunsan Air Base (Korea), that he affectionately called, “Kunsan by the Sea.” There, he experienced the coldest winter of his life and witnessed the horrors of war. Always one to bring levity to a situation, Laurence jokingly bragged that he had “travelled extensively in the Orient” and he referred to himself as “a veteran of foreign wars who defended democracy from the communist hordes.” After returning from Korea, he was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, where he met his future wife of 68 years, Helen, at the NCO club. Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Laurence worked briefly for the CIA and then Pepco, but concluded that he did not like working with electricity. In 1957, he started working for C&P Telephone (later Bell Atlantic and Verizon), first as a lineman and later as a skilled telephone technician at multiple government agencies in Washington, D.C., including the EPA and State Department, where he was responsible for ensuring telephone-line security for confidential conversations. He had the pleasure of meeting Henry Kissinger and recounted that Mr. Kissinger referred to him as his favorite tech, because “he got the work done.” Following over 35 years of service, Laurence retired in 1994. Laurence and Helen were married in 1954 and they welcomed five daughters in ten years. In 1968, they settled in their beloved home in Marlton for which they selected the floor plan and the finishes and proudly watched it being built. One could say that Laurence was a meticulous keeper of his lawn and not one weed could be found. While Laurence viewed his family as a blessing, it was simultaneously a source of financial worry, since he took his responsibility as the provider seriously. Consequently, he spent much of his young adult life working six to seven days a week, taking on as much overtime as possible to ensure his family had all they needed and most of what they wanted – his work ethic was exceptional. In addition, Laurence instilled in his children the importance of education and paid for Catholic school tuitions from first through 12th grade and continued some financial support during college. To say he was proud that his five daughters are all college graduates is an understatement. As his daughters grew up and started their own families, Laurence, along with Helen, continued their generosity by hosting annual family vacations in Sea Isle City, NJ – a tradition that lasted for more than 20 years and regrettably came to end in 2022 due to Laurence’s declining health and Helen’s death. Later in life, Laurence was blessed with two grandsons, whom he loved dearly, and he revealed to them a silly and affectionate side that few were permitted to witness. When they were little, he enjoyed giving them whisker kisses, tickling them with the Winkus Wonkus, and building raging “Christmas fires.” In addition, he happily attended Grandparents’ Days, baseball games, and Irish dance competitions and he was always willing to provide extra cash for arcade games. While his grandsons are now young men, his affection for them remained and he beamed with pride each time he saw them. Laurence sincerely wished that each would find happiness and fulfillment in his life. Aside from family, Laurence’s passion was training harness race horses and he was truly gifted at it. He owned and trained a number over the years and often raced them himself at Rosecroft Raceway, Ocean Downs, Harrington Raceway, Freehold Raceway and Dover Downs, among others on the East Coast. One great regret was losing one of his favorite steeds, Okay Helen, in a claiming race. Despite his demanding work schedule, for many years Laurence was at the racetrack barn early every morning, prompting others at the track to wonder if he ever slept. Being with his horses truly made him happy. Laurence is survived by his loving children and their spouses Ann Marie Codori (George Fisk), Nancy Codori (Richard Boardman), Margaret Codori (Tina Mayes), Michele Codori (Susan Spence) and Jeanne Codori-Hurff (Christopher Hurff), his cherished grandsons, Evan Codori Boardman and Aidan Laurence Hurff. In addition to his parents and his infant sister, Nancy, Laurence was predeceased by his three sisters, Margaret Kozakowski Youell, Blanche Murphy, and Marie Arneodau, and brother, John Codori. Laurence is also survived by his brother-in-law James Bucci, Sr., his sisters-in-law, MaryLu Bucci and Maryanna Bucci, and his step-grandchildren Katherine Anderson (William), Maxwell Fisk (Gabrielle) and step-great-grandchildren Camden Anderson, Madeleine Fisk, and Henry Fisk. Laurence is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews. Laurence’s family respectfully invites relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to the visitation / Christian Wake Service on Monday, November 13 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 6160 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD. A visitation at 10:00 AM and funeral mass at 11:00 AM will be held on Tuesday, November 14 at Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 9961 Rosaryville Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, 8000 Woodyard Rd, Clinton, MD. Memorial contributions may be made to the “Laurence M. Codori, Jr. ’49 Endowed Scholarship” at Roman Catholic High School (www.romancatholichs.com/give) or to the Parkinson’s Foundation (www.parkinson.org).