Richard Ira Cordrey of Brandywine Hundred, died on May 10, 2023, after experiencing declining health due to Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Wilmington on August 30, 1936 and preceded in death by his parents Sarah MacDonald Cordrey and Ira Cordrey, his wife, Marianne Cordrey, and his sister Sally Cordrey. Rick graduated from P.S. DuPont High School in Wilmington in 1954. His love of music began when he listened to his mother playing hymns on the piano; he learned to play tuba in the high school band and taught himself to play piano by ear. He attended Wesley College and graduated from American University in Washington DC in 1958. Rick served as a scientific aide in the Aerospace Medical Center of Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. After his service to our country, Rick worked for nearly 40 years in sales and marketing for J. B. Lippincott Company in Philadelphia.
In 1970 he married Marianne Catherine Cordrey and “gained two daughters and a Scottish Terrier.” Nothing was more important to him than his family and his dogs. Having developed a love of Dixieland Jazz, he became the piano player for Tex Wyndham’s Red Lion Jazz Band and played every weekend at the Surrey Restaurant in Wilmington for several years. Later, Rick joined the Buck Creek Jazz Band based near Washington, DC and was invited to play at jazz festivals around the world.
Rick is survived by his daughters, Marianne (Mimi) Cordrey-Cotsell and Ellen deVrind (John); his grandchildren John Bloxom V, Alison Wilkens (Peter), Ashley Bloxom, Mieke deVrind, Jonathan deVrind and Gabriel Cotsell; and his great-grandchildren John Bloxom VI, Henry Bloxom, and Richie Bloxom.
A visitation will be held at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 19, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment will be private. The family suggests honoring Rick’s memory with a contribution to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.