GREGORY AUGUST CORDES
age 87, of Brentwood, MO, was granted eternal rest on early Monday, November 25, 2019.
Greg was born to the late Bernard and Rose Cordes on July 11, 1932. Greg grew up in the Hill neighborhood across the street from St. Aloysius Parish, where he attended grade school. Greg graduated from McBride High School after the archdiocese realigned the school boundaries of South Side High School. Now his commute to school was over an hour and a half on the buses. Greg’s hobbies included serving Mass, summer walks to the zoo with his Hill friends, trips to Forest Park Highlands Amusement Park and Columbia and Macklind Movie Shows. Of course, his greatest joy was baseball. Growing up they all gathered at Sublette Park to play pickup games. Since Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola lived in the neighborhood – they too occasionally showed up to play. Later on, during Hill Days, Yogi and Joe would bring along other ball players.
In 1952, Greg was drafted into the army during the Korean War. Greg became a Corporal and earned many medals and honors. He often told the story of being chosen to drive Marilyn Monroe around when she came to visit the troops. “She was a very beautiful and really nice girl.” Greg also played baseball in Japan at the end of his service. They won many championships- their trophies were made out of beer cans.
After boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood on one of his first visits home, Greg met Mary Rekart and they would marry years later on October 1, 1960. Greg and Mary “were blessed with two beautiful daughters”, two amazing son-in-laws, six grandchildren (their pride and joy), and a great-grandchild Jack (his greatest treasure).
Greg was the beloved husband of Mary (Rekart) Cordes for 51 years. Many will remember how compassionately Greg cared for Mary at home as she struggled with Alzheimer’s for many, many years until her death on November 20, 2011. Greg was the dear father of Jane (Mark) Schwendeman of Creve Coeur, and Carol (Brad) Hanson of O’Fallon, MO; proud grandfather of Jonathan (Ashley) Schwendeman, Michael Schwendeman, Emily (Brian) Woods, David Hanson, Drew Hanson, and Matthew Hanson; and adored great-grandfather of Jack Schwendeman. Dear son of the late Bernard and Rose Cordes. Dear brother of the late Bernard (Margery) Cordes, the late Margaret (Vernon) Koenig, and Gerald (Pat) Cordes of Saint Louis, MO. Dear father-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend to many.
Greg always put family first. His daughters and grandchildren were his pride and joy. . Greg worked incredibly hard to support his family with love and support as well as financially. His career began at Beneficial Finance Services where he began as a collector and in the 12 years rose to Manager. Next, he worked for GE Credit Corp as a District Manager in charge of 16 offices. Greg eventually retired from Action Data Services, a part of Control Data Corp. putting finance companies on the computer and working up to National Marketing Manager covering the entire US and Hawaii. Greg retired in 1994 when he successfully transferred all his customers to computer systems, ultimately eliminating their need for him.
By then, Greg and Mary had four grandchildren and his time was consumed with babysitting, attending sporting events as well as coaching them, sacraments, school plays, concerts, birthday/holiday parties and providing many hours of entertainment. His legacy of putting God first, others second and yourself third was a lesson he taught by example.
No one believed in the power of prayer more than Greg. He prayed the rosary many times a day for the needs and care of his family as well as for his parish family. For the last eight years, Greg attended daily Noon Mass setting up, preparing, and serving Mass. Greg was a living example of how to be a devout Catholic and family man. As a tribute to the hours Greg served his parish, especially the Noon Mass, Father Jack and Msgr. Ramicciotti, with a few of his close Noon Mass friends, purchased a new chalice to use every Noon Mass as a memorial to Greg. The chalice reads, “In Memory of Greg Cordes, Faithful Server, Faithful Disciple, Faithful Catholic.” When Father Jack presented the chalice to Greg while he was in hospice both of the men were in tears. What an amazing gift that is!
As Greg’s final act of selflessness, Greg donated his body to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
The family would like to thank Todd, Becca, and Myra from Hope Hospice for their special care for Greg during the last seven months, not only for their professional care but for their love, compassion, and heartfelt sympathy for all Greg was suffering through. Your many hours with our family will never be forgotten.
Services: A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, December 14th at 10 a.m. at Saint Mary Magdalen in Brentwood, 2816 Brentwood Blvd. 63144. Family will receive friends following the service at a reception in the Church Basement. CARE of St. Mary Magdalen will be providing snacks as we all remember Greg and have a chance to share our stories. We hope to see you there.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary Magdalen Parish, 2618 South Brentwood Blvd. Brentwood, Missouri 63144 where Greg was a parishioner for over 60 years (Mary for over 80). All donations will be put to a special memorial for Greg and Mary Cordes.