When Corinne Cody died, a little piece of Doylestown died with her.
It was the piece that always thought tomorrow would be better. The part that said 'we can do it if we work together.' The bit that believed absolutely in the power of positive thinking.
"Corinne was the most amazingly positive, relentlessly optimistic person I’ve ever met," John Davis, Doylestown borough manager and a friend and neighbor of Cody's, said earlier this year. "In this job, you tend to think that optimists sometimes are naïve. Corinne taught me and everyone she worked with that it was possible to make your community a better place while looking on the bright side at all times."
Cody, a longtime educator in Central Bucks and community leader in Doylestown, died in March at age 81. She had lived in Doylestown with her husband, Kevin, for 46 years and had dedicated her considerable talents to making the town a better place to live.
She worked for the Central Bucks School District from 1972 to 2000 as an elementary school teacher, principal and district-wide coordinator for social studies and science. She also helped to develop and promote the PEN program for gifted education.
A dedicated member of the Bucks County League of Women Voters, Cody edited the annual Voters' Guide and supported the "Kids Voting" program.
One of her most enduring legacies, though, undoubtedly is the Doylestown-area bike and hike trail system. Cody served on the bike and hike committee from 1994 to 2011 and was instrumental in bringing the trail system to life and helping expand it each year.
At a ceremony on Oct. 19, Cody's family gathered on a section of that trail near Kutz Elementary. As Kutz students sang, and Cody's son, Kieran, spoke of his mother, Doylestown-area leaders presented her family with a token of their love for the small woman whose heart was so big.
They rededicated that section of the trail in Cody's honor.
While the bench and the plaque and the trail itself stand as physical reminders of her life and its work, Cody's true legacy is the spirit of cooperation and hope with which she approached life, said those who knew her well.
"She was the principal of my kids’ elementary school, and a wonderful educator who then took her organization skills and her love of community to head the bike and hike endeavor, and we’ll always be grateful for that," said Doylestown Township supervisor Barb Lyons. "She’s left an indelible mark on our community."