In his one hundred and second (102) year of pure perfection,
Jack Benson Corey passed away gracefully into the arms of our Lord on Thursday, September 8, 2022.
A legend in his own right, Jack’s presence, his love, ripples over and through more than just the century+ to which he lived. Beginning on June 8, 1920, in the small town of Meadville, Pennsylvania, Jack’s zeal was gifted to our world and cared for by his parents Claude and Edna.
History has designated his younger years as the era of the ‘Great Depression, but his experience was nothing short of Great Joy- forging happiness out of swimming holes, companionship, peddling papers with his dog Laddie, and earning 25 cents an hour at the A&P store.
Jack pursued his bachelor’s degree at Allegheny College of Pennsylvania. In his junior year, the quakes of WWII led the US government to implement what was known as the ‘Civilian Pilot Training Corp,’ giving Jack an opportunity to earn his pilot’s license in exchange for his commitment to serve. This commitment to liberty and country was one that came naturally for Jack, volunteering his service earlier than agreed in a peacetime draft in July 1941.
Sent out with the title of “fighter pilot” first in his F6F “Hellcat” off the carriers in the Pacific theatre, Sr. Grade Lieutenant Corey was actively engaged in the Bougainville Campaign, the Battle of Saipan, and the Battle of Tinian. Shot down by the enemy fire and rescued out at sea by a U.S. ship, Jack survived and continued to fly and serve as a test pilot until the end of WWII. Jack returned to Allegheny College as a hero, earning his Bachelor of Arts in 1946.
Though the war had ended, Jack’s affinity for the skies did not, leading him to fly “Connies” and more for Pan Am Airlines until the mid-1950s. On their way to explore California, Jack and his first wife, Kay, accepted an invitation to visit Texas. The invitation to visit turned into a seedling, quickly sprouting its roots for Jack and Kay in Houston, Texas. Jack’s first job in Houston was with Finch Oil Pipe Company. Eventually, with industry experience and $3,000 saved, Jack established his own successful business Corey Supply Company in 1956. In 1984, Jack officially retired and moved from the city of Houston to his forever home, the 4C Ranch. In his leisurely days, he enjoyed his morning papers, long chats with loved ones, good books, rounds of golf, flying his Navajo all over the US, fine scotch, and traveling around the world with his beloved Teen.
In his 102 years of life, Jack was admired by all he came into connection with. He was named loving husband, father, Papa Jack, and even great grandfather, earning the respect of those who named him through his actions and dedication. To his family, friends, and all those close to him, we will be reminded of the power of his spirit when we see the tenacity and true grit at work in one another, when we feel supported when we experience generosity when we hear the word Hero or one of his short one-liners that make our hearts laugh. The legend of our Papa Jack will remind us to sing and dance our own ‘jig’, to continue to challenge and educate ourselves, to be guided by his 7P rule, to surround ourselves with people and landscapes that inspire us, and to always do our work to make the world a better place. Jack Benson Corey’s ripple of pure perfection is unending.
As Jack so generously did himself, please offer any donations to the following causes/organizations: Alleghany College, Methodist Hospital of Houston, or MD Anderson.
Graveside internment will be held September 30th, 2022, at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery at 2:30 pm.
A celebration of his life will be held on December 7th, 2022, from 2-6 pm at the 4C Ranch. (December was his favorite time of year) (This is the same ranch the Trail Riders stopped at every year on the way to Houston)
Jack was preceded in death by his parents (Claude and Edna), sister (Virginia), and first wife (Kay Corey).
He is survived by his beloved wife, Foresteen Corey, 6 children and their spouses (Scott Corey, Kim, and Will Schlinke, Doy and Tom Landry, Cher and Rodney Stevens, Brent and Jayme Cherry, and Kent Cherry), 17 grandchildren (Alicia Corey, Kathryn Martin, Shawn Corey, Jessica Corey, Justin Long, Jared Long, Alex Burchfield, Blake Schlinke, Saylor Cooper, Sara Cooper, Maeghan Melder, Allison Janssen, Amanda Cherry, Taylor Cherry, Brittany Cherry, Layne Cherry, and Olivia Cherry) and 8 great-grandchildren (Ethan and Hailey Martin, Lyla and Wyatt Cherry, Edyn and Bridge Janssen and Eve Melder).