Friday, October 28, 2022

Obituary - Walter Martin Corey

Walter Martin Corey of Pleasant Hill, MO passed away peacefully on October 23, 2022, after a yearslong struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Born on May 9, 1938 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Walt was the youngest of 16 children born to parents Teodore and Anna (Sprock) Korolewiat. In the 1920’s their Ukrainian surname was changed to “Corey”. His parents passed when he was young, so his brother Mike and wife Julia raised him alongside his cousins: Michael and Marian. Growing up, Walt played every sport available to him, and was a Boy Scout. He played quarterback on the football team and graduated from Derry Township High School in 1956. When he attended the University of Miami, his football coaches moved Walt to the Defense, and that change stuck. He earned a teaching degree so he could supplement his professional football career in the offseason. Walt was drafted and played football for the Army team. At that time, he met his wife, Jane Lee Robbins. They married and later adopted two children Carla Jane and Mark Lee Corey.

Walt signed as a free agent in 1960 with the Dallas Texans. Owner Lamar Hunt moved the team to Kansas City in 1963 and it became the Kansas City Chiefs. Walt played in the first Super Bowl in 1966 as a hard-hitting linebacker for the Chiefs. After seven years as a professional football player, the Super Bowl was his final game, but not the end of his NFL career.

As a coach, Walt was a dependable leader whose character, positive attitude, and respect from his teammates and other coaches, were key factors to his success. Walt started his coaching career at Utah State University and then as defensive coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Miami. His NFL coaching highlights included Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator for the Chiefs for 12 years and Defensive Coordinator for the Buffalo Bills for 8 years including the historic run of four Super Bowls. Other coaching stints include the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints. Walt was often seen on the sidelines with his signature swizzle stick in his mouth (which helped him quit chewing tobacco). 

After his coaching, Walt was an early member of the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors, a group of former players who support current Chiefs players and the community with local scholarship programs, charity golf tournaments, and numerous charitable appearances.

Walt loved sitting on his porch and spending time with friends and family cooking meals, watching football, drinking red wine, smoking cigars, and sharing stories. Walt had a giant smile that matched his giant heart. Everyone felt welcome in his home. In Coach Corey’s kitchen, you were equally likely to be served a Kansas City strip from the grill or some homemade pierogis and halupki from the oven. Walt was a jokester and had a sharp sense of humor. He loved to tease those he knew as much as those he’d just met.

Walt is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Carla and David Stafford (Pleasant Hill), his son and life partner, Mark Corey and Russell Baker (Santa Fe), and his granddaughters Ashley (Sedalia) and Montgomery (Pleasant Hill), sister Virginia Byrne (Orange County), step-son Mickey Pugh (Swansboro), step-daughter Kathy Sinning (Beaufort) and many cousins. Walt was preceded in death by his wife Jane Corey, his parents, and 14 brothers and sisters.

Donations in honor of Walt can be made to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City, the KC Pet Project, or the charity of your choice. A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be scheduled at a later date. -- Go Chiefs!

Arrangements: Cullen Funeral Home, Raymore, Missouri 816.322.5278

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