Dr. Francis Edwin Korn, Jr., 103, died April 29, 2020 after a long and productive life. Born on August 22, 1916, he was the son of the late Francis Edwin Korn, Sr., and Myra Davis Korn. A lifelong resident of Durham, he began his education at the Coginchaug School on Main Street, one of Durham’s district schools. He graduated from Durham High School in 1933 having served as class president. In 1937 he graduated from Wesleyan University earning a B.A. with distinction in chemistry. The following year he received a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Boston University. Upon graduation he worked as a chemist for The Russell Manufacturing Company in Middletown and Pratt and Whitney. In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps serving in World War II with a rank of Technical Sergeant until 1946. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he entered New York Medical College graduating in 1950. This was followed by an internship at Middlesex Hospital. He established a general practice in his home at 215 Main Street, Durham, tending to many Durham residents, receiving $3.00 for an office visit and $4.00 for a house call. He acted as local school doctor and Durham Town Sanitarian as well. In 1954 he left general practice to specialize in radiology, spending three years at Yale New Haven Medical Center. He practiced radiology at World War II Veterans Memorial Hospital in Meriden and established a private practice, Radiology Clinics, P.C. in Middletown, Essex, and Portland, retiring in 1981.
Dr. Korn had many lifelong interests. He was extremely well-read; reading several books each week. He was an avid outdoorsman, hiker, jogger, and bird enthusiast often taking groups through the woods and trails of Durham and surrounding towns. His enjoyment of the outdoors lead him on hunting trips to Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. On these trips, he often used rifles he made himself, with his own hand carved stocks and checkering. He was an able woodworker and machinist as well.
Dr. Korn was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, now part of the United Churches of Durham; the Durham Historical Society, the Durham History Committee and other organizations. In 1916 he was pushed in a stroller to the first Durham Fair by a cousin, Ed Shelley, who was a Civil War Veteran. In addition, he represented American veterans for 50 years by carrying the American flag in the Durham Memorial Day Parade.
On February 23, 1952, he married Clara Hopwood, his devoted wife and companion of 51 years. As he said, “The best wife one could want.” Together they had four children: Penny Korn Parmelee, who is married to Richard Parmelee; Candace Korn Jeffres, who is married to David Jeffres; Donald Korn and his companion, Brenda Marino; and Francis Earle Korn, who is married to America. He leaves nine grandchildren Rick, Scott, and Todd Parmelee; Damon, Royce, and Travis Jeffres; Jason Korn; and Josue and Areli Nevarez and eight great-grandchildren.
In addition, Dr. Korn, leaves a sister Helen Korn Pearce and sister-in-law Suzy Korn and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister Esther Korn Kerschner and her husband Ira, a brother Alden Korn, brother-in-law Malcolm Pearce, brother-in-law Richard Carpen, and sister-in-law Lillian Carpen.
Dr. Korn leaves behind several special friends including Mel and Barbara Horowitz and Mark and Marie Leech.
Dr. Korn’s last wishes were that there be no mourning. He said, “I had a long life, a good marriage, and a fine family.”
Graveside services will be held at the convenience of the family at a future date with the Rev. Jeanette Cooper Hicks of the United Churches of Durham officiating. A gathering of remembrance will be held in the future when restrictions on social gatherings are lifted. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Durham Historical Society, P.O. Box 345, Durham, CT 06422. We would like to thank Middlesex Health Primary Care, Durham and Middlesex Hospice and Homecare, specifically three very special people, Marc J. Roy, M.D., Zack Doubleday and Angela Johnson-Shaw, for their excellent care. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
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