Former township supervisor passes away at age 89

Korzon was ‘instrumental’ in plotting township’s future

By: Robin Ruehlen | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 27, 2013

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — After devoting 33 years of his life to township business at many levels, former Supervisor Fred Korzon died Feb. 16 at his home in Bloomfield Township at the age of 89.

Township Communications Director Leslie Helwig wrote that Korzon began serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1967 and was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1968. He was later elected treasurer in 1972, and was appointed to the position of supervisor in 1982.  He was then elected to the position in 1984, and served there until his retirement in 2000.

Former Supervisor David Payne worked with Korzon for much of his own 41-year career with the township, and called Korzon “instrumental” in developing the township’s master plan and maintaining the quality of the township’s residential character.

“He was very dedicated to the township and in making it a great place to live and work. Planning was kind of his passion, and he helped mold it and keep it a special community with high standards — a real family-type of community,” Payne said.

“He was probably one of the most intellectual guys I’ve ever met, and I enjoyed working with him.”

Payne described Korzon as “very religious and very family-oriented,” and said he enjoyed spending time at his second home up north, following his retirement.

“I owe a lot to him. He gave me professional opportunities and mentored me in my career.”

Current Supervisor Leo Savoie said simply that “everything you see in the township is a direct result of (Korzon).”

“He was involved in one thing or another with the township government for 30 formative years, and prior to his work in municipal government, he was a builder and a Realtor in the area,” Savoie said.

“Everything we have, as far as being a residential community, is attributed to him. His legend has lived on long after he left.”

A World War II veteran, Korzon served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps and flew as a bombardier in the European theater. He earned his bachelor’s degree with the charter class of Oakland University, and a master’s degree at the University of Michigan, where he majored in history. Korzon also spent five years teaching at Lahser High School.

Clerk Jan Roncelli said she had the pleasure of working with Korzon from the time she was elected as a trustee in 1996 until Korzon’s retirement in 2000.

“He was a man who had a great love for the township and the beauty of the landscape and the tranquility it offers,” she said.

“He led our board always with the best interest of the township in mind, and he was always careful to make sure the businesses presented a quality exterior. He will long be remembered as one of the best supervisors we’ve ever had.”