Retired educator Roger Corey dies at 70
Roger Corey Sr. earned the respect of generations of students at a Sacramento high school before moving to Rancho Murieta. Former students remember him as “Mr. Corey,” and when they learned of his death from cancer Wednesday at the age of 70, they shared what he meant to them. “Mr. Corey knew that discipline and boundaries would have to be the saving grace of our generation. ... He was the closest thing to a father that several of my friends will ever know,” Sergio Villarreal posted on ranSACkedMedia.com. Darren Lee, another former student, wrote, “I greatly admire the way he was tough on us. He was teaching us respect, how to act.”
Mr. Corey spent most of his 35-year career as an educator at Kennedy High School, where he was a coach, teacher and principal. “He was very giving, and he cared about kids,” said Debbie Corey about her husband of 30 years. Following Mr. Corey’s retirement from Sacramento schools and the couple’s move to Rancho Murieta nine years ago, he joined the Optimist Club. “Whenever it was a kids’ thing, he volunteered his time,” she said.
Son Rocky and his wife, Mary, already lived in Rancho Murieta, and it proved to be a good fit for Roger and Debbie Corey. “Roger always wanted three things: He wanted to live in a gated community, he wanted to live on a hill, and he wanted to live on the golf course. ... He got all of his wishes at once,” Debbie Corey said.
She recalled that after moving here, the couple told their family they were “never, ever moving again. There is no place we would rather live in the whole world. That’s how much Roger loved it here.”
Both became involved in things they valued about the community. Debbie Corey is a Security gate officer and Mr. Corey worked for Rancho Murieta Country Club as a starter on the South Course for about eight years.
Two years ago her husband started a ride service from Rancho Murieta to Sacramento International Airport that “just went bananas. Everybody used it,” Debbie Corey said.
In addition to the popular shuttle service, “the other thing he was famous for was his pies. ... He took pies to everyone. They’d never had a pear pie, they’d never even heard of it,” she said.
Mr. Corey made the pies himself from start to finish. He’d start by harvesting ripe pears at a friend’s orchard. “He would get on ladders and pick them,” his wife said. “Some lady gave him the recipe and it had been in the family for years, and it was the easiest one in the world.” Her husband made “anywhere from 15 to 25 pies per day, one right after the other ... and then everybody he’d pick up at the airport would have a pie.” In addition to giving away pies, he would give away pears and share the pie recipe freely. Debbie Corey said the freezer was full of pies in case “somebody might need a pie. ... He got such a kick out of doing that. He was a generous man.”
Mr. Corey was born in Sacramento Jan. 18, 1942. He met his wife when Debbie was working as a bookkeeper for a restaurant. He knew the restaurant owner and would stop in to visit, and gradually got to know her. “I’m the really lucky one,” she said. “I got Roger and I got eight of the best kids. I couldn’t have raised them myself any better. ... It’s such a privilege to even be called mom by these kids. They’re so amazing.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Corey is survived by children Robin, Rocky, Rhonda, Reinaldo, Corey, Kyla, Joey, Amber and Jessica; sisters Joyce and Mable; his brother, Anthony; 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Services for Mr. Corey will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Church, 9961 Elk Grove Florin Road, Elk Grove. A gathering will follow at California Wedding Hall, 7323 Home Leisure Plaza, Sacramento.
Roger will be missed! I had the privilege of knowing Roger over the past few years. He was friendly and warm hearted and treated everyone with respect here at the Country Club. Reading his obit here on rm.com, he accomplished a great deal in life and I know he was quite proud of his family. He led his life the right way and yes he will be missed and yes we will all miss his “pear” pies.
I will miss my friend Roger....he was a kind and gentle man. I will miss his smile and nice words.
RIP Roger. Condolences to Debbie and his family.
What an excellent obituary! You have captured the real essence of a fine man. The comments from his former students said far more than any of us could post here. My oldest daughter graduated from Kennedy High and remembers "Mr. Corey" as her driver's ed teacher.
We all tend to lead busy lives with not enough time to accomplish what we want. I wish we had taken the time to get to know Roger better as both a neighbor and a friend.
Thanks, also, for publishing the pear pie recipe. It's super good!
Bobbi and Art Belton
We met Roger years ago, when he was the starter on the south course. It was apparent from day one that he was a unique person. Nobody in Rancho Murieta has sent golfers on their way so happily before or since. Roger had the ability to make everyone feel like they were important and special. When Candy and I came up to the tee, he always had a kind word and a personal comment. I know that he did that with almost everyone.
Roger loved to talk. He took us to the airport several times and each time was a treat. He told his stories and seemed to share his life with a candor that we rarely see. He talked about his years as an educator and the kids he worked with and his family with great affection.
Yes, we got pears and pear pies and advice and just a good feeling when he was around. I still remember the first time I answered the door to find Roger standing there with a Pear pie. We worried about him during his illness and will always miss him.
I have never written a comment about someone's passing before. Roger deserves to be my first.
We know he loved his family and the people of Rancho Murieta. He will be missed by everyone.
This man made an exceptional contribution to our universe. I would walk walk my dogs around Callayway Drive where Roger lived he would see me most of the time and he would comment on how beautiful i looked and how pretty my dogs looked. Roger was a kind, caring, and exceptional man and will be missed by me dearly. He will always be remebered by me and my family. I send my prayers and thoughts to the family. Thank you Roger you will be missed. - Audrey Houdeshell
Mr. Corey was one of the few people who has out walked me here in south Rancho Murieta. I will miss his early morning walking conversations, his inventions that allowed him to reach and harvest all the ripe blackberries he could fit into his buckets (and his excitement over the pies he would make) and mostly his admiration for his granddaughters - Crescey and Kianah - ladies, he will be in your grandstands for life with a big smile and a hearty laugh. Walk in peace Roger.
After my comments about Roger, I went to the Legacy online. At this time, he has more than 50 comments about his life. You will enjoy reading them.