Joseph K. Corson, 92, a dermatologist who had maintained a practice in Chestnut Hill for more than five decades, died May 10 of respiratory failure at his home in Plymouth Meeting.
Dr. Corson, who retired in 2000, had been chief of dermatology at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He also had served as clinical professor of dermatology and cutaneous biology at Jefferson Medical College, where his father, Dr. Edward F. Corson, had held the same position.
Born in Bala Cynwyd, he moved with his family as an 8-year-old into Maple Hill, the Corson family’s ancestral home in Plymouth Meeting that was purchased in 1833 by his great-grandfather Hiram Corson, a physician who founded the Montgomery County Medical Society.
Dr. Corson attended Episcopal Academy and graduated from Germantown Friends School. He received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, becoming the 17th member of the Corson family in five generations to obtain an M.D. at Penn.
He underwent postgraduate medical training at the old Philadelphia General Hospital and completed his dermatological residency at Jefferson Medical College.
An avid cabinetmaker who made many pieces of fine furniture for family and friends over many decades, he not only copied extant antiques but also designed many pieces himself in an inventive, artistic fashion. He lovingly maintained and repaired the houses and outbuildings on his Maple Hill property.
Dr. Corson also built a vacation home in the Wind River Valley region of northwestern Wyoming, where he had spent many summers as a teenager.
He was a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the Welcome Society, the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society (founded by his grandfather), and hereditary member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
He is survived by a daughter, Dr. Ann F. Corson; a son, William C. Corson, and four grandchildren. Dr. Corson’s wife, Charlton; a son, Edward, and a daughter, Locke, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at Maple Hill. – W.F.