Peter deCordova, of The Landings on Skidaway Island in Savannah, GA, passed away in his home peacefully on December 10, 2021. He was 89 years old. A memorial service will be held on April 30, 2022 at 1:30pm at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church located at 3 Westridge Rd, Savannah, GA. A reception will be held directly following the service from 2:30-4:30. Please email deCordovaReceptionRSVP@gmail.com for details if you’d like to attend the reception.
Peter was born in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1932. He was the son of the late Noel deCordova Sr. and Dorothy Kirchner deCordova. He attended Phillips Academy | Andover in Andover, MA, The Oakwood School in Poughkeepsie, NY, and graduated from Duke University in 1955 where he played lacrosse and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Duke basketball games remained a favorite pastime throughout his life.
After college he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Air Force and attended flying schools in Moultrie, GA. Big Springs, TX, and Sherman, TX. Upon completion of training, he was assigned to the air defense command and stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Concord, MA and flew the F-86 fighter interceptor. He left the Air Force as a Captain. Peter married Susan Ellwood in 1958 in Dallas, TX and they were devoted to each other until she passed away 50 years later.
In 1959, he began his career as a salesman for Scott Paper Company in New Orleans, LA and then was assigned to headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. He became promotion manager and then merchandising manager of the consumer products division. In 1970, he bought Benedict Corporation, a Pontiac, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, GMC and Subaru dealership in Norwich, NY. Peter and Susan ultimately retired in Savannah, GA to indulge in their passions of bridge and golf. He proudly displayed the award for his 157-yard hole-in-one.
During his 27 years in Norwich, Peter was also a director of Opportunities for Chenango, chairman of the Chenango County chapter of the American Red Cross, and president of the United Way of Norwich. He also served on the board of trustees for Preferred Mutual Insurance of New Berlin, NY and Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, MA. Peter had an entrepreneurial spirit and from 1987-2019 he established and was an active partner with his friend John Maschal in several retail fudge stores located in Nags Head, NC, Newport, RI, and Rockport, MA.
He is predeceased by wife Susan Ellwood deCordova and brother Noel de Cordova Jr. (Deborah). He is survived by two daughters, Diane deCordova of New York, NY and Debra deCordova MacLeod (John), grandson Cameron Noel MacLeod of Savannah, GA, cousin Elizabeth Lumb, nephews/nieces Noel de Cordova III (Melissa), Michael deCordova (Anna), James Martin Ellwood, Jr., Gordon Scott Ellwood and Virginia Ruth Hunt.
Remembrances welcomed in the guestbook at www.foxandweeks.com. You may also consider a donation to Hospice Savannah Inc. 1352 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, GA 31406 or https://www.hospicesavannah.org/give-2/donations/
My deepest sympathies to the family.
- Edeline Pinard, 4420 Clarendon Rd B’klyn , New York 11203
Peter and his late wife, Susan, were dear friends, and my late wife, Gail, and I enjoyed many evenings together. Peter was kind and generous in addition to being a very successful entrepreneur. We were business associates in Norwich and served together on Preferred Mutual’s Board of Directors. We continued our friendship into retirement. I shall miss Pete and his special magic! I send my heartfelt condolences to Debbie and Diane and their families.
- Matthew Cooney, Sarasota , Fl
My deepest condolences to Peter's family. Peter was a significant contributor to the success of Preferred Mutual as a member of its Board of Directors. It was my pleasure to work with Peter as CEO of the Company and as a director. Bob Wadsworth
- Robert Arthur Wadsworth, Fishers Landing, NY
Peter was a very nice gentleman with whom I played golf some time ago. I always remember talking with him about the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
- Andy Ward, Savannah, Ga.
Peter was a wonderful & kind man. Enjoyed many rounds of golf with him at The Landings and his spunky sense of humor. Our condolences to Debbie & Diane & family's as we also will miss Peter.
- Hank & Suzanne Croci, Savannah, Georgia
Pete was a gentle soul with a warm smile and infectious laugh. I miss our many rounds of golf -- and fellowship thereafter. He will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt condolences to Pete's entire extended family. Al and Kandy Hozinger
- Albert Holzinger, Savannah, Georgia
Knowing that our dear friend Peter had not been well of late, we spoke by phone only a few days ago, and it was great to hear his voice. Now we are deeply saddened to learn of his death. We first met Peter and his lovely wife Susan years ago while serving in the U. S. Air Force. We remained friends while Peter worked for Scott Paper and they lived in New Jersey. After that it was the receipt of a box of fudge at Christmas time, and many games of golf and joyful reunions both on Skidaway Island and in Southwest Florida. Our hearts go out to Diane, Debbie and the rest of the deCordova family.
- Hamilton (Tony) and Susan Ross, Bonita Springs, FL
Debbie & Diane - We're going to miss Mr. Pete, our dear neighbor for more than 20 years. Woodard Lane will not be same without him! What a blessing that he got to spend time with both of you during this past year. He loved his family very much and always talked highly of all of you. Pete enjoyed a long and full life. May he now enjoy the peace of heaven and be reunited with your mom. Love, The Lamberts
- Samantha Lambert, Savannah, GA
I will always remember the magic of entering the Fudgery and Uncle Pete inviting all of the kids to roll out Elephant Ears and dig through barrels of candy. His kindness and humor will be remembered by us all.
- Claire de Cordova, Poughkeepsie, NY
Wow. I am so sorry to hear this news. Pete and Susan were very good friends back in the day with the Newport Fudgery and Long Beach island endeavors with my late husband, Bill Wing. When they were in Newport we dined and shopped often, and continued to see them in Skidaway until Sue died. I often kidded Sue about her massive antique iron collection, and what would happen to it. She loved collecting. Pete was a gentle soul. My prayers are with you both Diane and Debbie.
- Carol Lane, Delray Beach, FL
Heartfelt condolences to both of you, Debbie, Diane, and your families at this difficult time. Peter was quite a personality - personable and quick, a great entrepreneur. He and Susan made a wonderful team from the time they met.. I'm sure you will have many fond memories. I remember when they first met in Dallas- Pete was flying for the Air Force, and Susan and I were flying for American. It was destined to be from the very beginning. I am glad to have been one of their many friends.
- Nancy (Edi) Corrigan, Prescott, Arizona
Di and Debbie - I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad loved you two, and your Mom, so much and always took a genuine interest in those of us who were your friends. His dry, wry sense of humor kept us all on our toes and I will remember with great fondness all of his visits to Princeton. I hope that the wonderful memories you have of him bring you solace. He truly was one special guy.
- Louise Nicholson Howe, Bethesda, MA
We were very sorry to hear about Pete's passing. We knew each other in Whitman Square, NJ and later at The Landings. We just moved to Park Springs in Stone Mountain so will be unable to stop by to share our times with your mother and dad. Bob and Jane
- Bob and Jane Reinhard, Stone Mountain, GA
A WONDERFUL MAN. I HAD MANY TALKS WITH HIM OVER PERIOD OF TIME
- JOHN M HAWKINS, Norwich, NY
Debra and Diane, I am sorry for the loss of your father. Wishing your peace and strength to you both. I fondly remember childhood afternoons & evenings with you and both of your parents. Such a great family to grow up around. Condolences to you both.
- Lynne Robinson, Nashville, TN
We send our deepest sympathies for the loss of this wonderful man, husband, father and grandfather. Our hearts go out to you.
- Theresa Lina, San Francisco, CA
Debbie, John, and Cameron, I’m truly sorry for your loss. Your father was so fortunate to have his family with him in his final months and what a blessing for Cam to have gotten to know his grandfather better before Perry’s passing. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers during this time. Sending you love and hugs. -Nina
- Krammer, Greenville, SC
I remember Mr DeCordova from when I was a little girl and my mother Gloria was one of his secretaries at Benedict’s. I am so very sorry to hear about this. He was always a very nice man. My prayers are with you all at this time. — Erica (Gloria’s daughter—now age 52)
- Erica Irwin Coleman, Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
I am so sorry Peter is gone. I always enjoyed hearing the funny stories of his mischievous escapades in his golf cart as he refused to give up any independence as he grew older! What a gift it was for him to get to spend so much time with Cameron and you these last months I am sure you made a lot more good memories. Sending you our love and you are in our thoughts and prayers every day.
- Jen Hughes, San Anselmo, CA
Peter was a wonderful friend and golf partner, his dry sense of humor was enjoyed by all. he was a great to have on your side, as a player and rules perfectionist. AS a Villanova grad we had many Duke --- Villanova arguments all in fun though. He will be sorely missed
- jim & jeanoie holzinger, savannah, ga
Diane, Debbie and family, I am very sorry for your loss. Sending good thoughts and love your way. Warmly remembering Mr DeCordova looking out for us, as a dad does, during our college years and visits at the NJ shore and in Norwich. He shared warmth and care and a smile. We mattered to him. Very glad to have visited with Peter and family in 2018 in Savannah.
- Polly Shafer Dana, Boulder, CO
We never knew Susan but heard many fond memories of her from Peter after we met him. And then we had many fun times, golf games and trips with him, enjoying his frequently quirky humor and wit. Our sympathies to Debbie and Diane and all of the family.
- Don and Margaret McCulloch, Savannah, GA
My wife and I were good friends of Peter and Susan and enjoyed each others company over the years. I was fortunate to have Peter serve on the Board of Directors of the Preferred Mutual Insurance Company during my term as President and CEO. Peter had a great sense of humor and was always ready to make astute business decisions. My sincere condolences to Debbie and Diane and I thank you for the personal call to advise me of Peter's untimely passing.
- Paul Stillman, Hilton Head Island, SC
Debbie, Diane and Family, We met Peter and Susan at the New Neighbors Bridge Group 22 years ago and we learned so much about the game from them. Over the years, our friendship grew, we always enjoyed Peter's special sense of humor and appreciated his kindness. We will miss you Peter.
- Trevor and Edwina Walker, Savannah, Georgia
Spent many happy evenings playing bridge with Peter. He was a great support to me when my wife passed away. He will be missed.
- Pete Stukenberg, Savannah, GA - Georgia