March 4, 2019

Up close with Resident

John F. Codori

The youngest of six children born to Dr. and Mrs. Laurence M. Codori, John was reared in Philadelphia in an area known as “Swampoodle” and was educated in the Catholic School system. He attended grade school at St. Columba’s and graduated from Roman Catholic Boys High School in 1950, where he was a member of the Track Team and ran Cross Country. After graduation, he worked at the Nabisco Company for two years and then General Motors for 43 years. He was employed in the processing and packaging department and was responsible for assembling automotive part orders for shipment.

Although John is a life-long bachelor, he is proud to have 13 nieces and nephews, 20 great nieces and nephews, and 13 great-great nieces and nephews.

At a young age John developed a love of all sports, especially Philadelphia baseball. The old Connie Mack Stadium was only four blocks from his home. He was so engrossed with the Phillies that in eighth grade he was caught making Box Scores Cards during class. The nun said to John: “If you had been born closer to the Academy of Music rather than the ball park you might be a musical virtuoso.” (She had him make 10 more score cards for the convent.) John is a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus, Holt Family Council, in King of Prussia, and for many years attended retreats with The Men of Malvern.

John’s hobbies include reading books, the National Geographic, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. He keeps up with regional college football – especially Villanova, maintains scrapbooks of all Philadelphia sports teams, and enjoys watching sports on TV. Wednesday nights are dedicated to playing Black Jack, and John is an eager participant in all Oakwood monthly outings and other group activities.

The Codori family history is closely intertwined with some key events in American history. John is a direct descendant of Nicholas Codori, who emigrated from France in 1830 along with his two brothers Joseph and Anthony. After living in Baltimore, the brothers moved to Gettysburg, PA where they prospered buying land and establishing businesses. In July of 1863, the Battle at Gettysburg—a pivotal point in the Civil War—was fought. The Codori Farm was in the direct path of Pickett’s Charge, the deadliest engagement of the battle, and the Codori House was used as a prison for days after the battle.

Today the Codori name is proudly displayed on businesses and monuments throughout Gettysburg. Several Codori buildings are in the Historic Register including Anthony Codori’s home, now a Bed and Breakfast, and St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. The land for the church was donated by Nicholas, and the money to build the church was provided by Joseph. The annual Codori family reunion brings together descendants from across the country.