Former state senator J. Doyle Corman Jr. dies

WILLIAMSPORT — J. Doyle Corman Jr., who served Centre and Clinton counties and the 34th District in the Pennsylvania Senate for 21 years, passed away on Sunday morning. He was 87.

The Bellefonte resident “died peacefully at home surrounded by his family,” his son and successor in the Senate, Majority Leader Jake Corman, said in a statement.

“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 the statement. “He was a man of deep conviction whose devotion to making our community a better place guided his life and career.”

Doyle Corman represented the 34th district in the state Senate from 1977, when he won a special election, until his retirement at the end of 1998. He became an influential figure in the state Republican party as well.

As a senator, his work was wide-ranging and he was a champion for funding of higher education, including his district’s Penn State University. He also helped further transportation, helping to usher in improvements that made Centre County more accessible. Corman served on the Senate transportation committee for more than a decade. A portion of Route 322 in Centre and Mifflin counties is named in his honor.

“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,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge said in a statement. “He showed particular leadership in helping to advance critical transportation legislation that is a hallmark of his distinguished legislative career. But even more important than being a faithful and honorable public servant, Doyle was a proud family man who always put family first.”

Michael Pipe, chair of the Centre County Board of Commissioners said: “Doyle Corman’s dedication to public service and commitment to our community has left a lasting legacy of growth, prosperity and betterment for all. He will be missed but never forgotten.”

Corman was remembered fondly in Clinton County, too.

“He was a wonderful man … a wonderful man,” said former Lock Haven City Councilwoman June Houser, as she talked about Corman, a staunch supporter of the controversial dike-levee project in Lock Haven.