Coral “Corey” Ayala Fagundez, age 60, longtime resident of Maplewood, NJ and formerly of Brooklyn, NY, died peacefully on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, ending a long and strongly fought journey with cancer. Corey was a loving wife and mother, but her love extended to all the children and parents of Maplewood and South Orange; many families counted on her supreme caregiving skills to help them raise their little ones. Corey was jokingly called the ‘unofficial Mayor of Maplewood’.
Corey’s life’s work was her family, her community, and especially her two girls. She spent every day in service to the people around her, finding small or large ways to connect or brighten your day. Corey was the “ultimate” team parent, traveling around with and cheering on the CHS ultimate frisbee team, and supporting the sport at CHS long after her girls graduated. Corey was the greatest cheerleader for all the family events in Maplewood – the duck race, July 4th, and her favorite weekend of the year – Maplewoodstock! Corey was a Girl Scout leader for both of her daughters and was a steadfast supporter of the South Orange Maplewood School District.
She was a special and caring friend, and many of us in Maplewood have stories of her humble offerings of a meal, a ride, or a shoulder to cry on. Corey had the unique gift of helping others to see the joy in all the little details of life. She was preceded in death by her parents Arlene Nottage and Joseph Ayala, and her sister, Tara Ayala. Corey is survived by her loving husband Hugo Fagundez, her two daughters Alex and Sam Fagundez, her son Salvatore Insinga, and her siblings Scott, Ruthie, and Jolinda. Her spirit also lives on in the children she babysat for and mentored: Marisa Boily, Caitlyn and Jordan Schaefer, Elizabeth, Gavin, and Liam Bennet, Hannah Baker, Jennifer Hill, Adrienne Manly, Jackie Goda, Elizabeth Guida-Poutre, Anais Abeigon, the ‘yayas’ (Julia, Juliet, and Erin), Abby, Ellen, Risa and Joey, Ian Rice, and Megan Cunningham among countless others.
Among Corey’s greatest accomplishments are her deep and loving friendships. She will be missed tremendously by her closest friends Lisa Insinga Corletta, Maria Blodgett, Donna Curatola, Beth Boily, Cheryl Galante, Jeanmarie HK, Debbie Young, and Nancy Shaefer. She leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity, and joy in so many others.
A celebration of Corey’s life will take place in June when we can safely gather outdoors and share memories. Corey’s family has decided to honor her memory by donating a bench in Maplewood for all to enjoy, as one of her favorite pastimes was relaxing and chatting with her Maplewood neighbors. Additionally, a scholarship will be started in Corey’s name through the CHS Scholarship Fund to support a CHS Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Player to attend college. We hope that this annual gift honors Corey’s love for ultimate Frisbee, her belief in the potential of young women, and her commitment to serving as a ‘stepping stone’ for the next generation.
We welcome you to join us in supporting this scholarship in Corey’s honor through GoFundMe, and we hope you will join us in celebration of her tremendous life in June. We know that Corey’s legacy touched so many, and we’d love for you all to continue to share stories, memories, and photos of our mama.