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Dr. Geoffrey Alan Corson, 97, of Dauphin, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully at home on Friday, January 3rd, 2020. He was born August 11, 1922 in Petropolis, Brazil to the late Henry Harris Corson, Jr. and Margaret George Bell,during the time his father was working as the American representative with the Emerson Brantingham Company, selling and servicing farming equipment throughout South America.
His family returned to the United States in 1924 and made their home in Avondale, Pennsylvania where his father operated a mushroom farm. Upon graduation from Avon Grove HighSchool in 1940, he entered training on the Pennsylvania School Ship, Annapolis, docked in Philadelphia. After earning his Steam Engineer license in 1942, he served with the United States Merchant Marine service on Victory and Liberty ships suppling vital resources during the war. He worked his way up to Chief Engineer and was on WW2 missions to the Aleutian Islands, the South Pacific, the Coral Sea, Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, India and the Persian Gulf. He decided to become a doctor after seeing blind children in Iraq, who were suffering from easily cured eye diseases, begging for food.
In 1946, he studied in community college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and then transferred to Oberlin College in Ohio. Graduating in 1950, he was accepted into Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1954, after earning his medical degree, he interned for a year at Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore. In 1955, he came to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for a three-year surgical residency. He set up a surgical practice in 1959,with operating privileges at Polyclinic Hospital, Harrisburg Hospital and Hershey. In 1970, he became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. As Chief of General Surgery, he helped train surgical residents from Penn State and for many years assisted Dr. Benjamin Musser performing open heart surgery, prior to the use of heart lung machines. After retiring in 1984 from his surgical practice, he worked for the United States Post office as the Chief Medical Officer for central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Post Office position in 1989.
In 1950, Geoffrey was introduced to Heidi Barrett by his sister Barbara, while on a visit to her home in New Haven, Connecticut. They were married June 3, 1951 at the Barrett home in Katonah, NY.
During his residency at Polyclinic Hospital, he often filled in for Dr. John A. Fritchey, Jr. in the Fritchey general practice doctor’s office on Erie Street in Dauphin. Dr. Corson took over this practice and served as a small-town doctor until 1968. He fondly recalled seeing patients in this office and doing house calls throughout the Dauphin/Middle Paxton/Halifax area in his VW bug or on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
In May of 1957, the Corson family moved to Dauphin. After almost 63 years of living in his beloved home called “Highland”, he passed from this life in his own bedroom, which was his fervent wish.
During his life he had a wide variety of hobbies and interests including oil painting, amateur radio, volunteering with the Boy Scouts, bicycling, motorcycling, aviation, hang gliding, sailing, hiking, working in his woodshop and enjoying nature, particularly Bluebirds and Chimney Swifts.
One of his proudest accomplishments was climbing the Matterhorn in August 1975, while on a three-week hiking vacation in Switzerland.
Geoffrey was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Henry, his two sisters Margaret Mains and Barbara Heinrich and his beloved wife Heidi, who died May 10, 2003. He is survived by his loving children, Alan Corson, Linda Corson, Barbara Corson, and Margaret Corson Brunner and her husband Rob, all of Dauphin; his dear friend and loving companion Elizabeth Ligon,and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Homeland at Home Hospice and Angels on Call for the excellent care that was provided during his final days. Words cannot express our gratitude for the services they provided which enabled him to pass away at home.
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Homeland at Home Hospice.
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