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Bruce A. Korson of Oyster Bay: Dog lover had eye for design, devotion to charity

Bruce A. Korson, of Oyster Bay, died from

Bruce A. Korson, of Oyster Bay, died from complications of COVID-19 on April 18. Credit: Ronee Hoade

Bruce A. Korson had an eye for design and a heart for charitable work. The Oyster Bay resident designed everything from film sets and fabrics to wallpaper and furniture.

"He was very creative from Day One," said his cousin, Arthur Novell, of Manhattan.

In his leisure, Korson had a passion for philanthropy.

"He really poured his spare time into charitable work of one kind or another," said his son, Andrew Korson, of Oyster Bay Cove.

Bruce A. Korson died on April 18 in Oyster Bay, of complications from the coronavirus. He was 79 years old.

Korson was born in Manhattan on Jan. 2, 1941. Early in his career, he worked on set design for the film "Midnight Cowboy." He studied at NYU and soon pivoted to interior design and fabric design.

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"He had a star he wanted to follow and a life he wanted to lead, and he made all that come true," said his longtime friend, Ronee Hoade, of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

After Korson married his wife, Jeanne, in 1973, the couple moved to Oyster Bay Cove. They opened a travel agency together and bred boxers. Korson was particularly proud of their prized dog Tiggin, who won in the working group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1991. Korson’s love for animals led him to become a member of the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the board of the American Boxer Club Foundation in New York.

After his wife died in 1999, Korson moved to Nantucket and dove head first into charitable work.

"He was very philanthropic and very generous with his time and money," Novell said.

Korson served on the boards of the Nantucket AIDS Network and the Artists Association of Nantucket and was gala chairman for both groups. He also served on the board of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Thrift Shop. He was a hospital volunteer for many years and helped organize fundraisers for it. He spent the final chapter of his life in an assisted living facility in Oyster Bay.

Korson was a big fan of the arts throughout his "colorful" life, Hoade said. As a child, he received a puppet stage from a family friend. He used the gift to craft puppets and create costumes to put on shows for his neighbors and friends. Later in life, he frequented museums, Broadway shows, the Metropolitan Opera House and Radio City Music Hall. He often threw dinner parties and made his signature meatloaf. Korson enjoyed traveling, with Austria being one of his favorite destinations. He also delighted in dog shows and his time in Nantucket.

"He was fun-loving, he was gregarious," said son Andrew. "He was very social, he loved being around people, all people."

Korson was known for having "a sense of humor second to none" and "one of the world’s greatest laughs," Hoade said.

"People followed him around like the Pied Piper," said Hoade. "He was like the mayor of Main Street in Nantucket."

Korson was also known for being adventurous and bright, and he will be remembered for "the warmth of his personality, the uniqueness of his intellect and the kindness of his soul," Novell said.

He is survived by his longtime partner, Neil Romanski; son, Andrew; daughter-in-law, Meaghan; grandson, William; and cousin, Arthur Novell.

A service has not yet been held.

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