Charles Corson Naples, FL
Charles R. 'Chuck' Corson of Naples, FL, beloved husband of Jean Corson, father of Randy Corson (Pam) and grandfather of Nick Corson of San Francisco passed away on January 2, 2014 in Naples of congestive heart failure, just days after celebrating Christmas surrounded by his family.
Born in Minnesota, he grew up in Ortonville. Smitten by show business from a very young age, he and his father often travelled to Minneapolis to see the top acts of the day. He created and produced his town's much acclaimed annual big show, the Ortonville Follies, for four years during high school.
He worked in radio as a young man at various radio stations in the Midwest while attending St. Olaf College. He went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Radio and Television and Masters Degree in Theater from Northwestern University.
Following graduation, he worked for the CBS TV affiliate in Minneapolis and then signed on as road manager for Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. Following his stint on the road, he moved to Southern California and joined Walt Disney Studios in the Casting Department. His background in production and first love of live entertainment led him to Disneyland where he served the creative genius of his mentor, Walt Disney, and rose to become Director of Entertainment for the world's two largest theme parks, Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Instrumental in the opening of Walt Disney World, many of his creative contributions are still in place today and he is honored with a window bearing his name on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
He left Disney to found his own company producing live shows for Sea World, Astroworld, Six Flags, etc. and various corporate clients. He worked on 3 American Olympics as a member of the production team and was the voice of the opening and closing ceremonies, in addition to working on many other national celebrations such as Liberty Weekend in New York and Bicentennial Weekend in Philadelphia. He was an active concert promoter in California where he premiered such acts as Tom Jones, Helen Reddy, Burt Bacharach and Lily Tomlin. He produced extravaganzas for the Texas Sesquicentennial in Houston, the opening of the Florida Suncoast Dome (Tropicana Field) in St. Petersburg, FL and the NHL and consulted to several major cruise lines. He was involved in the production of several live stage shows produced in Japan. His amazing announcer voice was always in demand.
He served as Vice President and General Manager of Production Services at Radio City Music Hall in New York and produced the entertainment for the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans.
He will be sorely missed. He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Ray and Ebba Corson, of Minnesota and Los Angeles; and daughter, Kimberly Corson of Los Angeles.
No services are planned at this time.