Corey D. Ankum was the youngest of four children born to Johnnie and Marie Ankum, on September 26, 1976, in Chicago. He graduated from Charles H. Wacker Elementary School in 1990 and attended Thornton Fractional High School, graduating in 1994. In high school, Corey developed a love and a talent for basketball, which he continued to play with skill and zeal throughout his life. Corey attended Kiswaukee College in Malta, Illinois, where he received his associate degree in business. He continued his education at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business.
After earning his degrees, he became the director of Jack and Jill Daycare, a family owned business, where he met the love of his life, Demeka J. Wade, in October 1999. The happy couple was married on August 8, 2008. Corey graduated from the Chicago Police Academy on November 13, 2008, then transitioned to the Chicago Fire Department (CFD), graduating from the Fire Academy on April 1, 2010.
Corey, known to many as CoCo, was an amazing husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. Most of all, he was proud to be a father to his one and only son, Torey D. Ankum. He had a great sense of humor, a bright smile, and a hearty laugh. Corey was a jack of all trades. He was a self-taught chef, carpenter, mechanic, teacher, and a wonderful role model. You name it, he could do it. He was a sports fanatic, with two of his favorite teams being the San Antonio Spurs and the New England Patriots. He led and taught by example and spent most of his life in the service of others.
On the morning of Wednesday, December 22, 2010, Corey perished together with his comrade, Edward J. Stringer Sr., from injuries sustained while battling a blaze on the Southside of Chicago. Firefighter/EMT Ankum was fighting a fire in a vacant, one-story brick building when a roof and wall collapsed, wounding him fatally and also injuring 17 of his comrades. He received many certificates and honorable mentions within his short time with the CFD. He was loved and respected by all who knew him at the Chicago Fire Department, and he was proud to be part of the “brotherhood.”
Corey is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Demeka; his beautiful children, Demia, Baylee, and Torey; his loving parents, Johnnie and Marie Ankum; grandmother, Pearlie Strickland; siblings, Carol Ankum, Charmain Ankum, Mary Teresa; and a host of other relatives and friends.