Corn, Charles McCutchen (Cleveland)

Lawyer And Civil Rights Advocate

  • Monday, February 12, 2024
Charles Corn
Charles Corn

Charles McCutchen Corn passed peacefully on February 10, 2024.

He is survived by his wife Susan Corn, daughter, Elizabeth McCoin, son-in-law Joseph McCoin, and grandsons, Mac and Charles McCoin.  

The youngest child of Frances and Terrell Corn, Charlie entered this world on November 4, 1937, joining his siblings Frances (“Taddy”), Bill, and George.  After a happy childhood darting in and out of houses on Ocoee Street while going to and from Arnold Elementary (and after surviving homesickness for one year while at the Kentucky Military Institute), Charlie graduated from Bradley Central in 1955 and then Duke University in 1959.  He went on to earn his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1962, serving on the Vanderbilt Law Review in 1960-1961 and again as Associate Editor in 1962.

Charlie served in the United States Army Reserves at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina before working in a law firm in Atlanta from 1963-1964.  Home beckoned though, and Charlie returned to Bradley County in 1964 to practice law.  Charlie met Susan shortly thereafter at a party at Hardwick Farms, a story now recounted as “the fountain incident.”  From this auspicious frolic forward, their enjoyment of adventure and each other never dwindled over the next six decades. Charlie and Susan married in 1967, and they became the proud parents of Elizabeth in 1973.

A life-long advocate of civil rights and liberties, Charlie was a proud member of the Democratic Party and served as a delegate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention.  Charlie’s legal work benefited southeast Tennessee as he engaged both in private practice and as a prosecutor before becoming the Tenth Judicial District’s first Public Defender in 1989, a post that he maintained for fifteen years before his retirement.  Ever mindful of his family’s contributions to the industrial history of Bradley County, Charlie served on the board of directors for Manufacturers Soap and Chemical and Hardwick Clothes.  Charlie also supported numerous civic endeavors, serving on the Tennessee Executive Committee of the Sierra Club, the Cleveland, Bradley, and Ft. Loudon Library Board, and as the president of the board of Hiawassee Mental Health.

While he relished the challenges and debates arising from his involvement in politics, law, business, and community, Charlie’s chief joy came from spending time with his friends and family, particularly his wife, daughter, and grandsons.  Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Sierra Club Foundation’s Tennessee Chapter or to the Cleveland Bradley County Library Foundation.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. in the Poole Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cleveland, 3000 Ralph Buckner Blvd. NE Cleveland, Tn. 37311.

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