Dr. Henry H. Corn
West Des Moines
Dr. Henry H. Corn, 102, died December 10, 2013 at Bickford Assisted Living in West Des Moines. A memorial service will be held Monday, December 16th at 1:00 PM at Temple B'nai Jeshurun, 5101 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. Interment at Glendale Cemetery with lunch to follow at the Temple.
Henry Corn was born at home on 7th Street in Des Moines, Iowa on September 28, 1911 to Israel Jacob and Dora Corn. He was the youngest of five children and the first to be born in America to Russian immigrants. He graduated from North High School and the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1936 and received his Master's Degree in Pediatrics from St. Louis University.
Dr. Corn began his medical career practicing general medicine in the Des Moines Building. He served in the US Army Medical Corps during World War II in the Army Infirmary in St. Louis, where he met his wife, Bernice Shedle, a secretary for the Army. Captain Corn then became Medical Director for a Prisoner of War Camp in Douglas, Wyoming and finally served in the South Pacific in Guadalcanal and New Caledonia at the 101st Fleet Hospital. After the war, Dr. Corn returned to the Des Moines Building, sharing his office with Dr. Jack Spevak. Later, Dr. Corn moved his office to the Roosevelt Shopping Center and finally to the Des Moines Pediatric Clinic, in Beaverdale, practicing pediatrics with partners, Dr. Leonard Gangeness and Dr. Kenneth Talcott. Dr. Corn's first nurse, Anne Hitchen, worked in the office with him, until Dr. Corn retired.
Dr. Corn began the practice of medicine without antibiotics in his black bag. He knew that a diagnosis of meningitis was a death sentence and that scarlet fever meant quarantine for a whole family. During the polio epidemic of the fifties, Dr. Corn, often slept at Blank Hospital, caring for his young patients through the night. Mothers remember him for his very early visits to the nursery at Blank and were grateful to him for being in his office by 6:00 AM to answer their phone calls. For many years, Dr. Corn made house calls each evening and then always called the next morning to see how his young patients were doing. If Dr. Corn knew a patient's family could not pay, there would be no bill. Dr. Corn cared for his patients with professional expertise, compassion and butter cookies. Dr. A. B. Hayles, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic wrote: " In my years of practice I have never known of another physician more loved and admired by patients and colleagues than you."
Henry was passionate about his family, education, music, art and Iowa. Since his retirement, Henry has checked out every existing book on violins, art and music from the libraries in the greater metro area. He continued his quest for knowledge by a life long habit of writing down interesting thoughts and words of interest, and looking them up in the dictionary. Henry was the concertmaster of his North High Orchestra. He played his violin in the Symphony in the '60s and attended Des Moines Symphony concerts for more than 60 years. Henry enjoyed playing each week with his string quartet and attending Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan for three summers with a friend from the quartet, Paul Skiles.
Henry and his wife, Bernice were married happily for 60 years. She preceded him in death. Henry has three daughters, Loretta Fingert (Gary) WDM, Sandra Corn, Clive, Phyllis Slivken of Sarasota, Florida and niece, Mindy Betensky, Boynton Beach, Florida. Henry loved to spend time with his grandchildren: Jane Burnett, Dr. John Fingert, Margaret Slivken, Scott Slivken, Justin Slivken and great-grandson, Ben Burnett. Henry valued family and treasured time with them.
Dr. Henry Corn has touched our family, his patients and friends with his smile, joy for life, compassion, professional skills, wisdom, inspirational values and love. Dr. Corn's family wish to thank Bickford Assisted Living in West Des Moines, The Iowa Clinic Vascular Surgery Department, Iowa Clinic Podiatry Department, and Unity Point Hospice for exemplary care. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Temple B'nai Jeshurun, Blank Hospital, or the Des Moines Symphony.
Published in Des Moines Register from Dec. 13 to Dec. 16, 2013