J. Doyle Corman, former senator, dies at 87

Central Pa. representative honored

BELLEFONTE — J. Doyle Corman, a former state senator representing central Pennsylvania, including Mifflin and Juniata counties, died Sunday at his Bellefonte home at age 87.

While in the Pennsylvania Senate, Corman was renown for his influence among the state’s Republican Party. Corman championed giving increased liability protection to property owners who permitted the public to use their land for free, lowering taxes and making needed improvements to the state’s welfare system before his retirement in 1998.

But his most famous work came as a 13-year member of the state Senate transportation committee, work that led to the state legislature in 1999 renaming part of U.S. 322 in Centre and Mifflin counties the J. Doyle Corman Highway.

His son, Jake, is not only the current state senator from the 34th District, but also the majority leader of that chamber.

“Dad always remained grateful for the privilege to serve the people of Central Pennsylvania as their state Senator for more than 20 years,” Jake Corman said in a statement. “He was a man of deep conviction whose devotion to making our community a better place guided his life and career.

“Still, Dad was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather first and a senator second. There are no other titles in which he took greater pride. While in the coming days, many will remember him for his service to this commonwealth, Dad’s lasting legacy is the example by which he lived, his expectations of us and the love he had for Mom and all of us.”

Corman served under several Pennsylvania governors, most recently Tom Ridge.

“Michele and I were sad to learn of the passing of former Senator J. Doyle Corman,” Ridge said in a statement. “Doyle was an important voice in the state Senate for many years and was a wonderful partner to our administration in the mid-90s when we first came to Harrisburg. He showed particular leadership in helping to advance critical transportation legislation that is a hallmark of his distinguished legislative career. Doyle was a proud family man who always put family first. So we send our condolences to his son, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, along with all his family and friends.”

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Pennsylvania flags at commonwealth buildings would fly at half-staff until sundown Monday and also on the date of interment, which is scheduled for Thursday.

“Frances and I share our deepest condolences with the entire Corman family,” Wolf said in a statement. “We are grateful for Sen. Corman’s service and contributions to our commonwealth.”

Corman served more than 21 years in the Pennsylvania Senate, having first been elected in 1977. He retired in 1998. Prior to becoming a state senator, Corman was a Centre County Commissioner for more than nine years.

Corman was also a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1954 until 1956 when he was honorably discharged.

Corman is survived by his wife Rebecca, four children, 13 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one sister.

A full obituary for Corman can be found on Page A6 of today’s edition.


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