Dr. George Francis Cora
November 25, 2014
REST IN PEACE
Dr. George Francis Cora of Coffee Run in Hockessin, DE died peacefully at home with his wife at his side on November 25, 2014. Born on April 17, 1930 to George W. and Catherine Rassa Cora in Baltimore, he was called to serve God and people of faith at an early age. He began at St. Charles Minor Seminary and earned a BA in Philosophy / Psychology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. He was sent by the Bishop to the University of Louvain, Belgium for 4 years to complete his preparation for priesthood. He was ordained in Belgium on July 1, 1956, remaining a priest for life. Along with pastoral work he continued studies at The Catholic University of America where he received a MA in Theology and a Doctorate in Ministry, focused on Ecumenical Theology. George continued to learn and teach throughout his life. Themes of ecumenical spirituality and service to the young and less fortunate were the great lessons of his life. In his words, he derived "deep satisfaction from working to make the unity we have in God and Christ more visible." He made this unity visible in MD and DE as Associate Pastor and Prison Chaplain (St Lawrence Parish, Jessup, MD), Associate Pastor (St Mary's Parish, Baltimore), Pastor (Holy Trinity Parish, Glen Burnie, MD and St John's Parish, Columbia, MD). While at the Interfaith Center in Columbia, he worked with Sister Mary Louise Chesley, who became his partner in ministry and his wife on June 3, 1978. In 1979 he became Regional Director for Religious Education (Diocese of Wilmington) and in 1981 Executive Director of the Delmarva Ecumenical Agency. From 1992 until his retirement in 1997, he worked in the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for the State of DE, assisting people with disabilities to enter the workforce. George's great love was sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with his "co-captain" Mary Louise. He also enjoyed handball, racket ball, reading, cooking, working on cars and with wood and watching golf and sports on TV. He loved children and after retirement, he mentored elementary students, read at the library and took part in Read Aloud DE at a nearby daycare until his 80th year. George was an active member of Resurrection Parish in Pike Creek where he served as a choir member, confirmation sponsor, a faith group leader, a Mom's Group babysitter where he was a part-time "dragon" and a lector with the "voice of God."
George is survived by the love of his life, Mary Louise Chesley-Cora, his siblings, Jeanne P. Etzel [the late John] and Donald E. Cora [Jeanne], his mother-in-law Constance J. Chesley, his extended family and numerous nieces, nephews and their children.
Visitation and Vigil prayers will be on Monday, December 1 at Resurrection Parish, 3000 Videre Dr., Skyline Ridge,Wilmington, DE 19808 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, December 2nd at 9:30AM at the church and a Mass of Resurrection will follow at 11:00AM. Interment will be private. The family is grateful to all those who have been with us on this difficult journey especially our parish family; the nurses, therapists and aides at Manor Care; caregivers from Home Instead Senior Care, especially Trudy Marvel; Stephanie Gentry, RN and Judy Bentick, CNA of Heartland Hospice and our wonderful neighbors at Coffee Run. In lieu of flowers, we request donations in George's memory to Resurrection Parish, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Heartland Hospice or the charity of your choice. To send condolences, visit
George was a longtime member of CORPUS