Our Ministries
01 May

To Celebrate a Life of Love: John E. Cortissoz

February 7, 1930 – April 26, 2017

John E. Cortissoz, a retired publishing executive, died Wednesday, April 26, in San Antonio, Texas, after a long illness. He was 87.

Born February 7, 1930, in New York, he was the son of John and Mary Cortissoz. He grew up in New York and attended Manhattanville Preparatory School and the City College of New York. He married Hope Morrison in 1953, and they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary the day before his passing.

Mr. Cortissoz served as a Corporal in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, based in Denver. Following his discharge, he returned to New York and eventually settled in Greenwich, Conn.  He worked for Reinhold Publishing in Manhattan, initially as a designer and later in sales.  From there he moved to McGraw-Hill, where he served in senior positions in sales and product development for Business Week magazine. He then joined the Goldhirsh Group as Associate Publisher of Inc. magazine. In 1989, he and his wife retired to Grand Harbor in Vero Beach, Fla., where they lived until moving to San Antonio in 2016.

Mr. Cortissoz was a devoted husband and father. He was active in his church and relished serving as a lector and Eucharistic minister. He was a do-it-yourself builder who lent his carpentry skills to Habitat for Humanity work projects. He was known for his sense of humor, embellishing his stories with accents and anecdotes. He was an ardent golfer and a car enthusiast.

Art was a lifelong passion, beginning with his work as a designer, continuing with a talent for drawing caricatures of people speaking on the telephone, and developing over time into a fine-tuned technique for portraits, landscapes, and street scenes in places he visited in Europe and the United States.

He is survived by his wife, Hope Morrison Cortissoz of San Antonio, and his brother, Dennis Cortissoz of Guelph, Ontario. Mr. Cortissoz is also survived by his daughter, Cathryn Cortissoz of Guelph, Ontario; his son and daughter-in-law John and Jill Cortissoz of San Antonio; his daughter and son-in-law, Mariann and Jonathan Bigelow of Wilton, Conn.; his daughter and son-in-law Marguerite and Robert Wills of San Antonio; and his son Christopher Cortissoz of San Antonio.  Mr. Cortissoz also is survived by 8 grandchildren: John J. Cortissoz of San Antonio, Kelly Cortissoz Byrne of San Antonio, Allison Lehrer of New York, James Bigelow of New York, Bryan Lehrer of Portland, Oregon, Taylor Ferguson of San Antonio, Kaitlyn Cortissoz of San Antonio, and Reece Cortissoz of San Antonio; and by 4 great-grandchildren: Anabella and Jayci Cortissoz of Wimberly, Texas, and Sawyer and Charlotte Byrne of San Antonio.


A memorial service will be held Tuesday, May 2, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in San Antonio. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity.