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By John Pierce

The death of Ed Corson, longtime Macon, Ga., newspaper editor, columnist and college professor is sad news to report. This uniquely gifted communicator and interpreter of current events died this morning from cancer.

He was also a fine Christian gentleman who brought much to the fellowship of Vineville Baptist Church and to the larger community where he shared his love of music, government and people.

When my family moved to Macon in the final hours of the last millennium, there was some concern that computers would not recognize the date 2000 and widespread chaos would occur. But the fears of Y2K, as it was called, didn’t materialize.

So we unpacked and got on with our lives in a new setting. Among the few friends we already knew in Macon were Ed and Jean Corson. They stopped by with a memorable welcoming gift: a coconut cream pie from Jeneane’s.

Ed had served on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta-based Christian Index when I was managing editor — and when those with our understandings of journalistic and Baptist freedoms were more welcomed in that setting.

A New Jersey native, Ed found his bride of 50 years in the metropolis of Sycamore, Ga., and settled into the South following a nine-year career in the Air Force. He was quite the scholar.

After an earlier undergraduate degree from Amherst College, Ed attended the Baptist seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., graduating in 1963. His good work brought an opportunity for additional study at Yale Divinity School.

Also, Ed earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and was a tenured professor at Mercer University — and later taught at Georgia College and State University and Macon State College.

He was best known throughout central Georgia, however, for his excellent work as a newspaper editor and columnist. Ed was editor of the former afternoon paper and then editorial page editor for The Macon Telegraph.

Even after his stated retirement, Ed stayed busy either teaching college classes or writing for the Telegraph — or both. Yet he made time for family, church, friends and deep involvement in the town he called home and made a better place for others.

The impact of Ed’s life in terms of personal relationships and professional influence cannot be fully measured — whether through a simple act of kindness or a pointed commentary on an issue of the day. He always brought the best of his many skills to every task.

One might disagree with Ed’s well-stated opinion, but no one could ever claim that he was shallow in his thinking or sloppy in his writing. And though learned and accomplished, he was constantly seeking new insight and information.

On a Sunday evening at Macon’s downtown Cox Capitol Theatre last May, as we revealed the new Nurturing Faith Bible Studies that appear in Baptists Today news journal, there were many attentive listeners. But it was Ed who took copious notes and asked good questions — ever the learner.

Ed did not linger after the tragic news of his failing health. Just two weeks after receiving the diagnosis of advanced cancer and less than 24 hours after moving into hospice care, Ed left this life for his eternal home.

He left sooner than he and we wished. But he left in peace — stating clearly that he was ready for the next step.

Prayers of comfort and hope are extended for Jean, daughter Kitty and all who will experience the void created by Ed’s earthly absence. May that sacred space be filled with loving memories and the assurance that he is in the presence of a loving God.

 

 

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