Joseph Michael Corcoran, a resident of Columbia since 1938, died August 21, 2011. He was 93.
He was born on August 26, 1917, in Paragould, Ark. Mr. Corcoran was raised in St. Louis and graduated from high school in Damascus, Ga. He became a devoted Missouri Tigers fan after he bought his season tickets to MU football and basketball in 1948.
He never missed a Tigers or Cardinals game, whether he followed along on TV or the radio.
During World War II, Mr. Corcoran served as Lt. Cmdr. He was a navy pilot, initially flying submarine patrol over the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. He was a flight instructor of the PBM and PBY aircraft, which are airplanes that landed and took off from aircraft carriers in the ocean. They were used for patrolling and retrieving downed pilots in the sea. His wife, Jane Spees Corcoran, knew his location by a secret code he devised with two identical dictionaries using page numbers for longitude and latitude.
Mr. Corcoran also helped escort the Atlantic Fleet to the landings in North Africa and later flew in the Pacific theater as a patrol bomber and convoy escort.
In Columbia, he was a real estate broker and housing developer. He later became a textbook salesman, often attaining No. 1 status in his region and in the nation. He belonged to the Jaycees, Lions Club and Knights of Columbus of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Mr. Corcoran was an avid golfer, fisherman, sportsman and reader. He was a member of the Columbia Country Club for more than 50 years.
He is survived by his two daughters, Michele (Chellie) Walter and her husband, Dennis, of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Victoria (Torri) Corcoran and her husband, Ray Steinmetz, of Houston, Texas; three granddaughters, Katie Walter and husband, Joe Taylor, Ally and Jesse Steinmetz, and one great-grandson, Finn Taylor. Mr. Corcoran is also survived by many nieces and nephews in the Scott, Tipton, Valentine, Spees, Wilson and Ousley families in Columbia as well as Alice, Dan and Mike Looney of St. Louis.
Mr. Corcoran’s wife of 65 years, Jane Spees Corcoran, died earlier.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1115 Locust Street. There will be a celebration of his life and an old-fashioned Irish wake at the Columbia Country Club, 2210 N. Country Club Drive, at noon.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the MU Hospital Cardiology Dept., 1 Hospital Drive, Columbia, MO 65212.