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John Daniel Corcoran

Sep. 19, 2019
Category: Obituary

Dr. John Daniel Corcoran, Jr. Ph.D., M.B.A., passed away Saturday, March 24, 2019 at Bethesda Home Care Center in Cookeville, Tennessee. He was born April 26, 1940 to John Daniel Corcoran, Sr. and Emma Louise Vienhage. He was educated in St. Joseph, Missouri at The Cathedral Elementary School and Christian Brothers High School, Class of 1958. Class Valedictorian, Senior Class Treasurer, and Aerie Yearbook Editor. He was awarded a four-year scholarship to attend St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, where he graduated in May 1962 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He then went to The University of Wisconsin – Madison where he completed a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in January 1967. In May 1980 he was awarded an Executive Masters in Business Administration from The Carlton School of Business, University of Minnesota. At that time fewer than one thousand persons held both a Ph.D. degree in a physical science and an M.B.A.
Dr. Corcoran began his research career at General Mills, Inc., Golden Valley, Minnesota from 1967 to 1976 where his interest was in the development of new food additives. He then studied ultraviolet curable coatings at the Adhesives, Sealants and Coating Division of 3M Company at 3M’s Research Center in Maplewood, Minnesota. He accepted an offer in 1980 from Ethyl Corporation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to lead a Research & Commercial Development team that obtained one of the first approvals by the US Environmental Protection Agency under their newly established Toxic Substances Control Act for the successful commercialization of a new polyurethane chemical. In 1993 he moved to Orangeburg, South Carolina and supervised the Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Department of Ethyl’s Albemarle Corporation. Together with a specialty team he formed, they obtained approval from the US Food & Drug Administration in 1997 for Propofol, the most widely used pharmaceutical anesthetic. After retirement in 2005, he and his wife moved to Cookeville, Tennessee to be closer to his daughter and her family.
Dr. Corcoran was an emeritus member of the American Chemical Society with more than 50 years of service. The Rotary Club of Orangeburg, South Carolina in 2006 selected him as a Paul Harris Fellow. From 1994 to 1998, he was a member of the Sertoma International’s chapter in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Cookeville, Tennessee.
He married Mary Denise Johnson on June 24, 1967 in her hometown of Polson, Montana, the first couple to be married at the new Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. They met in June 1965 when they were both students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They were blessed with a son, John Michael in and a daughter, Carol Louise.
He and his wife, Mary, enjoyed travel, especially their visit to the historical and religious sites in Israel in 1993 and ten years later to find their ancestors’ birthplaces in Austria, Ukraine, Poland, Ireland, and Germany. Dr. Corcoran traced his genealogy to a maternal fifth great-grandfather, Thomas Gordon, Sr., who fought in General Washington’s Virginia Continental Army and survived the 1787-1788 winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; he is related to Archbishop Daniel McGettigan, who was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ireland from 1873 until 1887.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on March 30 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Cookeville, Tennessee with the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard . A Mass of Christian Burial with The Knights of Columbus Honor Guard from Bishop LeBlond Council # 5067, will be celebrated at The Cathedral of St. Joseph-Kansas City, Missouri on April 27th at 1:00 PM with a viewing at Meierhoffer Funeral Home that morning at 10:00 AM. The interment will be immediately following the Mass at Mount Olivet Cemetery in St. Joseph, Missouri. Memorials may be sent to The Cancer Center at the Cookeville Regional Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Blvd, Cookeville, TN 38501.

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