Keith D. Corson, 74, of Granger, Ind., one of the founders of Coachmen Industries Inc., died Wednesday (July 14) at Elkhart General Hospital after an extended illness.
A 1953 graduate of Bristol High School, Corson served in the U.S. Marine Corps after which he attended Wichita State University and then worked for Sears Roebuck and Taylor Products in Elkhart, according to The South Bend Tribune. In 1964, he and his brothers Tom and Claude Corson, founded Coachmen Industries Inc. in Middlebury. Keith helped engineer the company’s earliest products as president of the firm and oversaw all manufacturing and procurement operations until 1981.
He departed to manage the Robertson’s Department Stores and later to acquire Koszegi Products, Inc. in South Bend which he sold in 1990. He then returned to Coachmen Industries and resumed the position of president and a director until his retirement in 2000.
He was very instrumental in the diversification of Coachmen throughout its history and during his tenure had served the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) as its chairman of the Quality Control and Standards Committee.
He served on numerous community boards during his career.
Survivors include his wife, Janice, whom he married July 14, 1957, a daughter, Staci Lynn Corson, a brother, Thomas H, Corson, and a sister, Judith K. Lentz.
He was preceded in death by his brother Claude, who died May 9, and a sister, Rosalie P. Corson.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, Bristol Street at Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart where the memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Rev. Fred Stayton will officiate. Cremation has taken place at Keith’s request. Burial will be in the Oakridge Cemetery, Bristol at a later date. Memorials may be given to the Bristol United Methodist Church, 201 Division St., Bristol, IN 46507, or Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, 111 Sunnybrook Drive, South Bend, IN 46637.