Deceased July 13, 2015

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

Bill Cordner died on July 13, 2015, at home in Stamford, Conn. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, he grew up in New Jersey

Bill participated in Amherst football (captain, 4), baseball, basketball and track all four years. At graduation he was awarded the Howard Hill Mossman Cup, given to the senior “who has brought the greatest honor in athletics to Amherst College.” He was voted “permanent class president,” was a member of the Sphinx Club (3, 4) and Scarab (4) and was secretary-treasurer of the sophomore class.

From Amherst he joined the Navy, becoming an air ordnance officer for Squadron VC-10 on the aircraft carrier Gambier Bay, which was sunk off Samar, Philippine Islands, on Oct. 25, 1944, by Japanese battleships and cruisers during the battle of Leyte Gulf. He and his shipmates spent 48 hours in shark-infested waters before being rescued.

After WWII, Bill graduated from Columbia Business School and the Harvard Advanced Business Program. He joined National City Bank (now Citigroup) in the Metropolitan District, then was vice president and manager of three Midtown branches and finally was vice president and senior credit officer, managing corporate relationships in the Global Banking Group. After 37 years, he retired and became a commercial real estate broker in Stamford, Conn., working for Beaudry and Co.

Bill was a member of the Apawamis Golf Club, the Shenarock Shore Club, the Union League Club, the Innis Arden Golf Club, the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich and the Riverside Golf Club. He was a member of several volunteer and philanthropic organizations, including the Greenwich Historical Society. He was corporate fundraiser for the Greenwich Symphony and financial adviser to Greenwich Adult Education. He was a member of First Church in Old Greenwich for 50 years.

Bill and Marian had their 73rd wedding anniversary on July 11, 2015. He is survived by his wife, son Bill, daughter-in-law Kayrn, brother John, two granddaughters and three great-granddaughters. He was predeceased by his son Gerald Cordner.

Larry Griesemer ’40

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50th Reunion

In July 1942, I married Marian Karr, Mount Holyoke '40 and we are still together. She enjoys art, music, theatre and travel, and her enthusiasm and interest have rubbed off on me. After Amherst and three semesters at Columbia Business School, I was commissioned an ensign in July '41. The Navy career ended in December '45 when I joined Citi­ bank. A year later I received my master's degree at Columbia.

William Codner In business as in marriage I was a one-company man- 37years with Citibank before I retired in 1983. Sounds dull and probably was compared to what was out there. However, I have no regrets. Citibank was and is a pace setter and there was challenge and excitement in playing even a minor role in asset growth that went from five to over two hundred billion dollars. Business travel, domestic and foreign, accounted for about 25% of my time. I enjoyed that, particularly on special occasions when Marian joined me, such as our four-week tour of the Far East a few years before I retired. Another highlight was my thirteen weeks at Harvard Business School in their Advanced Management Program at age 47.

I was in the Naval Reserve from July 1941 to December 1945. My closest call came on October 25, 1944 in the battle of Leyte Gulf when our escort carrier, Gambier Bay, was blasted out of the water by Jap cruisers and battleships. The wounded filled the few rafts we got off the ship and the rest of us hung on to flight deck debris and life raft ropes until rescued 46 hours later. That's a long time to think under any conditions and after the first twenty-four hours we were barely coherent Aside from normal praying I found myself, strangely enough, thinking back to two of the Amherst faculty-Packard and his Battle of Jutland Sea, and to Lloyd Jordan and his influence on me. I definitely felt a certain determination and will to survive that I knew Jobby expected of me in this crisis. Really weird, but who knows what one will do or think in a real crisis?

William Codner We had two sons, Bill and Jeny. Bill graduated from Trinity and received his M.B.A. at Amos Tuck at Dartmouth. He lives in Simsbury and is with Cigna. His wife, Karyn, a Wellesley graduate, is a senior v.p. with United Bank. Jerry graduated from Hobart, a fine arts major, and tragically at the young age of twenty-eight was murdered in Boulder, Colorado. We have two granddaughters in Simsbury and they and their parents are wonderful and that helps a lot.

Since retirement I obtained my real estate broker's license and became affiliated with afirmin Stamford as a commercial/industrial broker. With real estate, golf and travel I keep happily occupied.

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