I truly admired this man, he will be missed
obit is below article
Ex-Alameda mayor Corica dies
'Honest Chuck' saved Victorians, served 3 terms
By Kristin Bender and Angela Hill, STAFF WRITERS
ALAMEDA — Chuck Corica, who served as Alameda mayor for a record 12 years, died Saturday at Alameda Hospital. He was 82.
Corica had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for several years and was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago with pneumonia, longtime friend Lil Arnerich said.
Corica was active in local politics from 1973 to 1991. He was elected mayor in 1975 and won a second term in 1979. In 1983 he took a break from politics but returned as a council member in 1985. In 1987, he won the mayor's seat for a third and final time.
"Chuck Corica was a legend as a mayor," current Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson said. "He was a champion of life in Alameda and very dedicated to the residents ofAlameda."
Corica first entered politics because Alameda's famous Victorians were in jeopardy of being razed by developers looking to build sprawling apartment complexes. He co-authored Measure A, the 1973 charter amendment that prohibits building anything larger than a duplex.
"He was one of the founding fathers of Measure A," Arnerich said. "He really wanted to preserve the lifestyle of Alameda as we knew it."
Corica, a barber by training, was instrumental in saving the south portion of the golf course when the city was considering selling it.
For his efforts, an 18-hole course on Bay Farm Island was named the Chuck Corica Golf Complex in 1992. Corica also founded Alameda's golf commission.
"Chuck was a great man and a great supporter of the golf course," said Doug Pool, golf course superintendent at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex. "If any resident in Alameda had a problem, he could go to him, and Chuck would get it done. He was a person you could depend on."
While Corica worked tirelessly to preserve and improve life on the Island, he never jeopardized his core values for political power, Arnerich said.
"He was a tremendously honest person," he said. "We had Abe Lincoln, who was known as Honest Abe, and we had Chuck Corica, who was known as Honest Chuck. He never took a freebie from anyone. He was his own man. ... I'll tell ya, he stuck by his guns, and you had to admire him for his chutzpah."
Bill McCall, also a former mayor of Alameda, shared similar memories of Corica.
"Let me tell you about Chuck Corica: He's a go-getter, and he's a fighter.
I don't think he lost to many," McCall said. "(He) was always honest, always friendly, but if he got mad, he got real mad. One thing is that he really listened to people."
Corica's sister, Terry Veasy of Alameda, echoed that sentiment.
"He prided himself on honesty and always being up front with everyone," Veasy said. "He was a passionate man and a great family man. Just a great person to be around. Growing up, he was nine years older than me, so he was a great big brother who always took care of his kid sister."
Carmelo J. "Chuck" Corica was born Nov. 12, 1923, in Sicily. When he was 7, his family moved to the United States and settled in Alameda, where he spent the rest of his life. He graduated from Alameda High School in 1942.
After attending San Francisco Junior College, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II from 1942 to 1946 as a deep-sea diver, his sister said.
After the war, he joined his father in the barber shop business at Tony's Barber Shop on Lincoln Avenue.
"That became a great meeting place for a lot of Alamedans to discuss politics over the years," his sister said.
Corica continued working as a barber during his long local political career; he retired from the shop in 1999.
He was the founder of the Mayor's Fourth of July Parade in 1976. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, he led a joint effort between the city and the Navy to build a dock and begin ferry service in Alameda.
He was appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson to serve on the state parole board from 1992 to 1996.
Corica is survived by his wife of 56 years, Stella Corica; son Tony Corica and daughter Rosemary Petri, both of Alameda; and two grandchildren.
Viewing will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Basilica, 1109 Chestnut St., Alameda. A funeral Mass will immediately follow the viewing. The family suggests donations be made to the Alameda Hospital Foundation, 2070 Clinton Ave., Alameda 94501.
Correspondent Aman Mehrzai contributed to this report.
C.J. "Chuck" Corica
C.J. "CHUCK" CORICA Passed away peacefully on February 4, 2006 at the age of 82, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Tripi, Sicily, on November 12, 1923. At age 7, he came to Alameda with his parents, where he resided for 75 years. Attended Haight School and graduated from Alameda High School in 1942. Attended San Francisco Jr. College. Served in the Coast Guard from 1942-1946 as a deep sea diver. Worked as a barber alongside his father at Tony's Barber Shop on Lincoln Avenue until his retirement in 1999. Elected to Alameda City Council in 1973. He was the first elected Alameda Mayor in 1975 and re-elected in 1979 and 1987, serving for 12 years, retiring in 1991. Co-authored the 1973 "Measure A", which protected the City from overdevelopment. Established many mayoral committees still in existence , and was the founder of the "Mayor's 4th of July Parade" in 1976. Following the 1989 earthquake, he led a joint City/Navy effort to build a dock and begin ferry service in Alameda in less than one week. During his years in office, a number of parks and facilities were constructed including a new Police Station, the Bay Farm Island Fire House, the Park-Otis Senior Housing Complex, the Mif Albright Golf Course, and he helped to establish the Mastick Senior Citizens' Center. Was honored by many local, state and federal agencies, including being named Alameda's "Citizen of the Year" in 1983, and received the "Outstanding Immigrant from Italy Award" from the International Institute of the East Bay. He especially enjoyed being invited to ride with the Blue Angels in 1987. He was appointed by Governor Wilson to serve on the State Parole Board from 1992-1996. Founder of Alameda's Golf Commission, and in 1992 the Alameda Golf Course was dedicated to him, and it became the "Chuck Corica Golf Complex." He is the son of the late Tony and Vinny Corica. He is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Stella. Loving father of Tony Corica and Rosemary Petri of Alameda. Dear father-in-law of Nancy Corica and Steve Petri. Proud grandfather of Craig Corica of San Jose and Lindsay Corica of San Luis Obispo. Loving brother of Terry Veasy and brother-in-law Jack Veasy of Alameda. Dear uncle to Gary (Janet) Veasy of Walnut Creek and Greg (Laura) Veasy of Camas, Washington. Great-uncle to Ryan, Sarah, Logan and Carly Veasy. Visitation will be on Saturday February 11, 2006 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., at St Joseph Basilica, 1109 Chestnut St., Alameda, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial commencing at 10:30 a.m. Entombment immediate following the Mass is private at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, San Pablo, CA In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alameda Hospital Foundation, 2070 Clinton Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501. For further information, please call: Greer Family Mortuary Alameda 510-865-3755 CA Lic. No. FD1408
Published in the ANG Newspapers from 2/9/2006 - 2/10/2006.
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