1922 - 2013
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CORLEY, Robert Ordway 91, passed away Thursday, October 31, 2013 in Kittery, Maine. By his side was his wife, Marianne, of 65 years. Bob was born in Colebrook, NH, on October 25, 1922. He was the second child of John and Marion Corley and the younger brother of John D. Corley Jr. Bob grew up in Medford, Massachusetts graduating from Medford High School in 1942. Inspired by their mother and father, Bob and his brother John developed a love of music at an early age. Bob took up the trombone and was active in high school music groups. Bob enlisted in World War II in 1942 and joined the Navy Band. Bob was honorably discharged in 1946. He then attended Boston University and majored in Music. He received his Bachelors Degree in 1950 and Masters Degree in 1957. For many years he was an active member of the BU Alumni Band. While at BU, Bob met his future wife, Marianne Douglass. They were married on August 28, 1948, and had three children. Most recently they have made their home at Meetinghouse Village in Kittery, Maine. Bob had a long and successful career in music. After he and Marianne were married, they moved to Indiana, where Bob played in the Indianapolis Symphony for several years. He and Marianne then returned to the Boston area, where Bob taught music, played professionally and conducted for several decades. He was Music Director with Weston Public Schools, was a member of the founding Board of the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (GYPSO), and was the Conductor of the Greater Boston Junior Youth Symphony for many years. He was also an active member of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. Following retirement Bob and Marianne enjoyed greater New England, with residences in Vermont and Maine, while maintaining a home in Zephyrhills, Florida. Bob is survived by his wife, Marianne, his three children Tom Corley of Dominican Republic, Robin Brown of Atkinson, NH, and Scott Corley of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - and by four grandchildren, Kimberly Corley, Stephanie Corley, Lorraine Corley and Heather Corley. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Friends of Music Fund at Boston University and mailed to the Office of Development & Alumni Relations, College of Fine Arts, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA, 02215, or online at A memorial service will be held at the JS Pelkey Funeral Home located at 125 Old Post Rd, KITTERY, Maine 03904 on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

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Published in Boston Globe from Nov. 4 to Nov. 5, 2013.
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16 entries
August 2, 2019
Late, but still felt deeply: Mr. Corley was my best friend in Weston High School 1959-1963. I did whatever I could in the music department to join the groups and to be around his enthusiasm for music that he shared so easily with his students. Mr. Corley had a love for music that was addictive, and he made my high school days fun. I owe him a lot, and my life as a pianist and piano teacher has much to do with his influence. May he rest in musical peace!

Susan Gross (Bratman)
November 5, 2018
Mr. Corley was the first conductor I encountered as a member of GBYSO. I was in awe of him as I had never before been led by a conductor of his skill, musical depth, and intense work ethic. He inspired me to work very hard to do my best, and was more supportive of me than I could ever have imagined.

I have made a successful career in music due in no small part to his influence, generosity, and compassion. I will never forget this great, humble human being who gave music his all while igniting the musical passions of his students!
Scott Knopf
March 2, 2015
My Heartfelt condolences go out to Mrs Corley,Tom,Robin and Scott. I was Tom's best friend in 4th grade when my family lived in Auburndale Ma. We moved to weston where Mr Corley was music director. He taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was the pianist in the orchestra but I didn't practice my parts and when I told him that he was not happy with me. His displeasure made a huge impression on me. In large part because of this I have had a successful career in music. He made me want to prove myself. Although I did not continue on with the orchestra I did win his approval later and was able to thank him for what he taught me. He was in many ways my most important teacher. Thank you Mr Corley!!
Sincerely, David Frank
david frank
July 23, 2014
I played trumpet in both Mr. Corley's band and orchestra in the 1960's. He was a meticulous and kind teacher and leader. I and I consider his influence to be one of the building blocks of my life. Albeit late, I am very saddened and offer my condolences to his family.
Craig Randolph
December 11, 2013
Bob will be greatly missed and our family sends our love to Marianne and the entire family at this time.
Maggie Walker
November 11, 2013
Mr. Corley was my orchestra teacher in Weston in the 60's when I was in Junior High and High School. My two sisters were also orchestra members. I have many wonderful memories of him including the time he drove some of us to Atlantic City in a snow storm to play in the All-Eastern Orchestra. After college when I became an orchestra teacher he was a valuable mentor to me for many years.
Thank you Mr. Corley!
Carol McFarlin Rankin
November 9, 2013
I played cello for Mr. Corley in the Weston High orchestra from 1965-1969 and also played for him in GBYSO [that's a typo in the obituary], now known as BYSO. Mr. Corley was one of the great teachers who made Weston High so great. He was tough, but fair and got the best out of all of us. I remember him fondly and it saddens me that he is gone.

Every year I make a contribution to BYSO, and today I will make one in his memory.
Stuart Berman
November 8, 2013
Am so sorry to hear of Mr. Corley's passing. His career in music was more interesting and varied than I ever imagined.

Back in Weston in the late 60's, I spent many hours in the Music Room (Band 1,2,3,4 and Orchestra 4), but it wasn't until I was Band Secretary my senior year that I came to truly appreciate Mr. Corley's dedication to his students and his sense of humor as well as his passion for music.

He was a good, caring man and my condolences go out to his family.
Cheryl Currier
November 7, 2013
at Weston High School
November 7, 2013
Marianne, Tom, Scott, and Robin,

Bob Corley's positivism, enthusiasm, encouragement, and empowerment, which I have experienced for sixty years, continue.
David Schwartz
November 7, 2013
I am so very sorry to hear of your father's passing. Sincerest condolences to you and your family during this time.
Janis McGonagle
November 6, 2013
So sorry to hear of Robert's death. I never realized he was such an accomplished musician. My heart goes out to you and your family. May God bless you all.
Dr Gilbert
William Gilbert
November 5, 2013
ROC's love of music was contagious, and I for one, was a very happy recipient of that enthusiasm. Learning how to listen to opera at lunchtimes with the score in front of us, and the reel-to-reel tape of that opera at full blast was one of my favorite memories of my high school education at Weston in the early 60's. He was a winner! I've been a pianist all my life: soloist, accompanist, and teacher, and I am very much indebted to him for helping me to develop my love of music.
Thank you, ROC!

Susan Gross Bratman
November 5, 2013
Bob was my first trumpet teacher and a life long mentor. I continue to think of him often and share his musical wisdom with my students.

Ron Sylvester
November 4, 2013
Bob was at Weston HS when I first began to teach there in 1965. Cheerful, generous and an advocate for kids and music, he was the best. The Band organized themselves, with no adult help, to serenade him at his Wellesley home when he retired. They (and we) all loved him.
don kennedy
November 4, 2013
To the Corley Family,

I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Bob and would like to extend my deepest sympathy.

Bob was one of those extra special people who personify what is good in this world of ours ... and was an inspiration and valued friend to so many.

All those he touched will miss him.
Jack Coffey
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