In Memory Of
Cory David Riesman
February 26, 1955 – June 4, 2009
My brother, Cory, was called by God and departed this earth on June 4, 2009. Not only was Cory my baby brother, he was my best friend.
Someone asked me, "why did this happen?" My first response was, "some things are not meant for us to know." That person pushed on for an answer and all I could say was, "maybe God got hungry and wanted Cory to cook for him!"
Cory was preceded in death by his father, Harry Riesman, and his son, Dustin Riesman, as well as grandparents, Ben & Pearl Riesman and Maurice & Ida Stine.
Cory is survived by his mother, Charlotte Riesman, sister Bonnie Riesman Berry and her two children, Jesse and Jennifer, as well as sister Lindy Riesman and her daughter, Rachel.
Cory is also survived by three children with his wife, Terry Riesman, who are Jason Riesman, Ashley McGill and Brittnie Riesman. Cory also had a life partner, Carla Durden, who had 5 daughters when they met, Aubrey, Aletha, Desiree, Jordanna and Jessica. So, I guess it is appropriate to say that Cory had eight children, which amounted to one big blended family, including grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Cory loved nature and animals, especially reptiles. In fact, he was the first "herper" I knew. As young kids, we used to play at White Rock Creek. He would catch snakes and lizards, and I would catch turtles and frogs. What fun we had!
Cory was an avid fisherman, enjoyed making stained glass projects and was a gourmet chef. He related to a lot of music.
But most of all, he loved the people he surrounded himself with.
In many ways, Cory was a complicated yet simple man. Instead of being angry at someone for something they did or said, he always tried to understand why they did or said these things. We had many conversations over the years about this. In the end, he came to understand that some things are just better left alone and unanswered. Towards the end, he kept pondering the question, "why." And to this question, he would not come to understand, because he could not get an answer.
This year, 2009, Cory was on a mission, of sorts. He told me he had some goals in mind. He wanted to attend the trial of the horrible monster responsible for his son Dustin’s death. He wanted to go to Dallas and see some people and friends, set some things straight and get some answers. He wanted to walk his daughter, Ashley, down the aisle, he wanted to see his younger daughter, Brittnie graduate from high school, and he wanted to come to Little Rock to see me over Memorial weekend.
The trial finally took place, five years after Dustin was murdered, with a final conviction that this murderer spend many years in prison.
Cory did go to Dallas to see many of his friends, and enjoyed every minute with them. He was so glad to spend time with his childhood and long time best friend Randy, and other people he had known.
Cory did see his mother and sister. He wanted to know "why." Of course, he never got an answer to that question. He died very sad about that situation, because he just couldn’t understand "why." Perhaps that is something the people involved in that scenario can search their hearts for.
Ashley was married on April 11th and Cory proudly walked her down the aisle. In a video made of the wedding, Cory told Josh (Ashley’s husband) that "Ashley did not come with a warranty and there were no returns!" That was one of his happiest moments, as Cory came to love Josh very much and thought he was the perfect man for his daughter.
Brittnie graduated on May 21st. Cory was so proud that day. Although he was quite ill and in the hospital, he was so proud of Brittnie. We asked the nurse if we could take him to her graduation ceremony in a wheel chair, but the nurses advised against it. The family attended Brittnie’s graduation and afterwards, Brittnie went to the hospital in her cap and gown to show her daddy her diploma.
Cory wasn’t able to make it to Little Rock on Memorial weekend, as he was in the hospital in St. Louis. Before Cory was transferred to St. Louis, I was there with him in the hospital in Branson. I stayed with him every day and slept in his room every night. We had a lot of quality time together, laughing and crying, and had many long soul-searching talks.
Although Cory has now departed from this earth physically, he will always be here in our hearts.
My parting words as I spoke to Cory after his funeral were, "I’m not going to say goodbye, I’ll say au revoir, until we meet again, and we will meet again."
At this time, I would like to thank Randal, Jesse and Jennifer for their constant support while I was going through this awful ordeal. I would also like to thank Cory’s children, Jason, Ashley and Brittnie for calling me so often and letting me show my love for them.
Also, I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Donna, for everything. And a special thanks to Randy who honored us by coming to Branson for Cory’s funeral. And to all of my friends for their calls, emails and cards. You’ll never know how much all of this has meant to me.
Read by: Josh McGill
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
Some Of Cory’s
"God never closes one door without opening another." How true this one is. On Father’s Day, Ashley found out she was pregnant!
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon.
When the music’s over, turn out the lights