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John Francis Corry died peacefully on January 14, 2018 surrounded by his beloved family including his lovely and devoted partner, Rose Marie Dennis; mother, Noreen Corry (Simon deceased); and his three angels, sisters, Teresa Young (Denis), Myra Corry Rivero, and Linda Barnes (Jeff). He fought a courageous battle against a foe greater than the original literary demon, Grendel: cancer. John received unwavering emotional and spiritual support from his nephews and niece as well: Denis, Brendan, and Ciara Young, Anthony and Gavin Rivero, Jack and Evan Barnes. Team Corry provided 24/7 care for John and he often, in the midst of tough times, would share with family that "he considered himself to be a very lucky man" to be surrounded by family.
John's support in SF was also provided by his three aunts: Helen Glynn (Joe, Marie O'Riordan, Madeline Michael, Ellen McKernan), aunt, Mary Moylan (Mike-deceased, Jim Moylan, Anne Moriarty, Juliana Benedetto), and Sheila Corry (Ned-deceased, Bernie and Eamon Corry). He also was blessed from supporters in Ireland including his aunt, Kay Murphy (Dennis-deceased, Bart, Dennis, Danny, Michael Murphy, Rita Harty, Joan Purcell). His uncle MJ in Clare (Susan, Rita, Michael, Brigid, Noreen, Susanne, and Marian Cotter) also sent much love to him as well as his auntie Dolly O'Connor in England (Michael-deceased, and Eileen). His Aunt Mary Coughlan's (deceased) children in England also kept his spirits warm (Martin, John Francis, Patrick and Anita Holmes). And finally from the part of Ireland that John loved the most, Bawnaglanna, Currow, Co Kerry- his aunt Susan Galvin (Connie- deceased, John, Neil, Patrick, and Margaret Counihan) peppered him with calls, emails and texts encouraging him to get well and come for a visit to Killarney and Currow.
John was born at St Joseph's hospital in SF on December 29, 1964. He was a proud SF native, a Sunset native, and an Irish American with direct parental roots to the old country. John attended Saint Cecilia elementary school and was a proud member of the class of 1979- "the Finest, Greatest, and the Best"! He was actively involved in all SC activities, including music, sports, leadership, CSF and community service. After much academic and athletic success at SC, he attended Saint Ignatius College Preparatory where he continued to flourish enjoying not only the challenging academic environment but his love of soccer. It was at SI during his junior year that he realized that he either wanted to join the FBI, or become a teacher. When he was told of the extensive background checks to join the FBI (yes, he admittedly broke a lot of windows in the neighborhood with a variety of weapons-baseballs, footballs, soccer balls), he easily gravitated to teaching and enrolled at California State University, Chico in 1983. John blossomed at Chico surviving the famous Chico State Pioneer Days by spending enormous amounts of time in the library avoiding the chaos. He was a Founding Father of the BETA THETA PI fraternity and built a lifetime of close Chico friends. After earning his BA in English and History with teaching credentials, he earned his first teaching assignment at Martinez Junior High School including summer school at Alhambra High School. After making the journey from SF to Martinez for 7 years and earning his post graduate degrees Saint Mary's College in Moraga, he earned an Assistant Principle Curriculum and Instruction position at one of the premier high schools on the peninsula- Mills High School in Millbrae. While he was recognized as an exemplary secondary English teacher, he was also a natural and gifted administrator. After only 2 years at MHS, John was recruited to become the Principal of Taylor Middle School-a three times CA Distinguished School and National Blue Ribbon recipient. He and his staff quickly earned a fourth CA Distinguished School award, earning a visit from the then State Superintendent of schools, Delaine Eastin. John loved Taylor and forever referred to his 7 years there as the BEST. His reputation as a strong, student centered administrator with exemplary people skills and "city intuition" led to his recruitment to join the Cabrillo Unified School District in Half Moon Bay as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. John loved the coast and over his 11 years (and 5 superintendents) became the "go to" administrator to get the job done. It was the perfect position to match his "get the job done personality" and utilize his stellar 30 years of experiences in education. John often referred to a motto from his 8th grade Leadership program at Saint Cecilia- "Either push, pull, or get out of the way". The lessons learned at SC served him well professionally but it was also the love of family and community that made him who he was....every day. As much as John excelled and loved work, he loved his large Irish family more. While John was the only boy in the family, he never felt alone. He was always amgounst family and friends and would chuckle when others would introduce their "dear and lifelong" friends who they really had only known for 5-10 years. John's family and close friends were all considered family and his cherished friends for more than 50 years will always be held near and dear to his heart. John also loved his West Portal neighborhood as well. He frequented all the WP "churches" and restaurants and was welcomed as a local by all. Part of his daily stress release after work was to visit the Goodwill Boutique where the employees often stashed the best ties and shoes for him. When he was referred to as "the dapper Assistant Superintendent" at work he would discreetly flash a price-tag on the bottom of his shoe or on the inside of his tie to his colleagues with a wink and a slight shake of the head.
John spent his childhood days in West Portal playing video games at Round Table Pizza, eating ice cream at Baskin Robbins, and using his "special side door" pass to watch movies at the Empire Theater. He spent his final days in West Portal appreciating the neighborhood, the local merchants, and most importantly the people. John's charm, gift-of-the- gab, and quick wit were all part of what made him so special. He was an old school gentleman who devoted 30 years to children so they too could have the same options as he had for a better life.
Friends are invited to visit on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 6:00pm and attend a Vigil Service at 7pm at St. Cecilia Church, 2555 - 17th Avenue, San Francisco. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at St. Cecilia Church. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Saint Cecilia School, 660 Vicente Street, SF, CA 94116 or the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center, 5340 Geary Boulevard #206, SF, CA 94121.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 17, 2018