F. Joseph Cory, who was Maumee’s Mr. Infrastructure, overseeing streets and sidewalks, water and sewer lines, parks and trees, and refuse collection as city service director, died Tuesday in Ridgewood Manor, where he had lived since 2006. He was 80.
He had Parkinson’s disease since the mid-1990s, his son Michael said.
“My dad was very stoic, and he just kept going,” his son said.
Mr. Cory retired at the end of January, 1996, as Maumee’s service director, a position he’d held for nearly 20 years.
“He was very low-key, yet he had the respect of everybody there," said Maumee Mayor Rich Carr, who became a council member in 1989. “He was the kind of person you want in government. He had no ego. He just looked out for the present and the future of the city.”
Mr. Cory attended nearly every City Council meeting and worked with mayors and council members of both parties.
“He didn’t really take sides. He was nonpartisan,” his daughter said. “He just worked to get the job done.”
Mr. Cory took care of the city’s historic core while responding to growth through annexation and such developments as Arrowhead Park, which brought business, but also roads and traffic through Maumee.
“Bringing that kind of industry and revenue to the city was one of the things he was most proud of,” his son said.
Joe Camp, Maumee service director the last five years, said: “Joe was a mentor to me.”
“Joe taught me the value of what public service is all about. He was very dedicated to his position and very responsive to the public,” said Mr. Camp, who started with the city in 1988 as a summer intern. “He was calm in his demeanor, but spoke with a solid tone. When he spoke, you listened. He spoke with authority.”
That authority came from a solid civil engineering background, Mr. Camp said. Mr. Cory was a former board member of the Ohio chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Mr. Cory was hired in 1967 as commissioner of sanitation, street maintenance, and water. He became service director in 1976.
He was born Jan. 12, 1933, in Toledo, the youngest of five children to Elizabeth and David Cory. He was a 1951 graduate of Central Catholic High School. He received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Toledo. He served stateside in the Army and afterward was a captain in the Army Reserve.
He formerly worked for Finkbeiner, Pettis & Strout engineers.
Mr. Cory was a volunteer Big Brother and was a Boy Scout leader.
Surviving are his wife, Loretta Cory, whom he married Sept. 14, 1963; daughters, Christina Cory and Suzette Dexter; sons, Michael J. and J. Fritz Cory, and two granddaughters.
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral, Maumee, with a Scripture service at 7 p.m. The funeral will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph Church, Maumee, where he was a member.
The family suggests tributes to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.