Written or last revised on July 31, 2008
For two people who quietly gave of their time and money to the community, it is fitting that a very important community-oriented building will bear their names forever.
The Corron Community Development Center, an important addition to Laurel Ridge Community College’s Middletown Campus, is named for the late Judge W. LeRoy Corron and the late Mrs. Shirley Corron and will stand as a testament to the couple’s lifelong philanthropy.
In December 1999, Mrs. Corron supplied the largest gift in the College’s history when she made a substantial contribution toward Laurel Ridge’s building project in honor of her deceased husband.
Why would Mrs. Corron give such an important gift? The answer lies in her connection to her husband and her husband’s connection to Front Royal, Va.
Mr. Corron was born and raised in Front Royal. After graduating from Warren County High School in 1923, he attended the University of Virginia (UVA). Mrs. Corron reported that, after he graduated from UVA, the university wanted him to stay and work as a Latin professor. He declined and said he was going home for the summer, back to Front Royal.
After that summer at home, Mr. Corron returned to UVA and completed his law degree. It is easy to guess where Mr. Corron decided to practice law — Front Royal, of course!
A few years later, Mrs. Corron, then named Shirley Turbyfill, who was born in Huntersville, N.C., was visiting the Shenandoah Valley area for her best friend’s wedding. She was the maid of honor. At the wedding, Mr. Corron and the future Mrs. Corron met. Mrs. Corron said that she visited her newly married friend the following summer, and she and Mr. Corron had a date every night! The next year, in 1939, they were married.
The Corrons enjoyed the next 59 years together. Shortly after their marriage, Mr. Corron enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served as a lieutenant in World War II. After three years of military service, Mr. Corron resumed his law practice in 1945. He went on to serve as a judge in Warren County for 26 years.
Starting a family was a priority for the Corrons, so Judge and Mrs. Corron adopted a daughter, Francis Corron Jones. Jones blessed the Corrons with three grandchildren. She passed away in 1995.
During their marriage, the Corrons shared a common joy for travel, art and music. Together, the Corrons traveled to Canada, England, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and Scotland, but they always returned to their beloved home in Front Royal. Mrs. Corron also loved flowers. She was a member of the Garden Club of Warren County, and during a visit to Japan she studied at the Ikenobo School of Japanese Flower Arranging. Her favorite flowers were blue irises.
The Corrons also loved quietly helping those in need. One of Judge Corron’s favorite charities was Habitat for Humanity. In addition, the Corrons were very interested in supporting projects and educational opportunities for children. Mrs. Corron said that her husband knew that there were many young people who, when they finished high school, had nowhere to go and could not afford college.
When Judge Corron passed away in 1998, Mrs. Corron knew that he would want her to do something, and she “absolutely” agreed with supporting Laurel Ridge, so she made a donation in his honor. “He didn’t know it; he was gone,” she said. But Mrs. Corron was certain that her husband would be pleased to know that her donation to Laurel Ridge will benefit Warren County students. “He so loved Warren County,” she said.
After her husband passed away, Mrs. Corron remained in Warren County, a place that she loved and held dear. Mrs. Corron always enjoyed visiting with her grandchildren, sharing life and mingling with others. She passed away on May 3, 2008, at the age of 96.
The Corrons will forever be known for their quiet generosity, their love of Front Royal and their desire to help those in need. The Corron Community Development Center will stand as a reminder of their beautiful hearts and giving spirit.