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Glancing out the window that overlooked the front yard, I saw my Dad, Allen Codiroli, handing out $5 bills to a group of homeless people gathered around the dumpster. I thought to myself, here is a guy living out of his office five days a week trying to make ends meet for us, his family, and he’s handing out what precious little he has to strangers living on the street.
Later, I asked why he was giving away money that he struggled so hard to earn. He turned to me and said, “There is always someone worse off than you. Every person down there sifting through that dumpster has a real story about falling on hard times. The bottom line is this,” he said, “a fistful of fives won’t set me back that much, but a five-dollar bill may bring a small ray of sunshine to those people’s lives, if only for a few moments.”
There were many stories such as this in my Dad’s life.
He was born on a ranch on August 7, 1932 in Sebastopol, California to Elvezio and Esther Codiroli, immigrants from Switzerland. He was valedictorian at St Vincent’s High School in Petaluma, California (class of 1950) and graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from SCU (class of 1954). He was a Korean war veteran and a baseball aficionado. He married his “little lady,” Lunda Mitchell, in September 1955 and they raised 7 children in San Jose, California.
I once asked Dad, “What would you say on your headstone?” He shrugged and replied, “Allen Codiroli. 1932- until whenever I die. With just this simple inscription: HE TRIED.” HE TRIED. Simple words, but they pretty much summed up the Allen Codiroli everyone knew and loved.
He was always 110% fully engaged in whatever he did. A tireless passion for getting things right.
He didn’t always get it right; however, when he was wrong, he was man enough to admit it and deal with the consequences. Allen was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lunda; his two daughters, Diane and Donna. He is survived by five of his children, Michael, Christopher, Mark, Deb and Carrie; an enough grandchildren and great-grandchildren to have his own football team and then some.