Seth Korona, Athlete And Collegian

Posted: February 09, 2001

Seth Korona, 19, a graduate of Cherokee High School in Marlton, where he was swim-team captain, died Sunday at Bloomington Hospital in Bloomington, Ind.

Mr. Korona, a freshman at Indiana University who was majoring in business finance, had lived in Marlton for the last six years and previously lived in Mount Laurel.

He suffered a skull fracture. A student living on his floor at the university told police that Mr. Korona had not been feeling well since returning from a Jan. 27 party at Theta Chi fraternity, said Lt. Jerry Minger of the Indiana University Police Department.

Mr. Korona had been in a coma for several days after being taken to the hospital Jan. 29. A preliminary autopsy revealed indications of blunt-force trauma to the brain, Monroe County Coroner David Toumey said. He said he had not determined the cause of death and would not conclude his report until he had more information.

The trauma could have been caused in any number of ways, including from a fall or from being hit on the head, Toumey said.

Mr. Korona enrolled in Indiana University in January after spending his first semester at West Chester University.

An honor student at Cherokee, Mr. Korona graduated last year. He lettered in swimming all four years and was team captain his senior year.

He participated in water polo at West Chester and planned to do the same at Indiana, said Debra Neilson, a family friend. He enjoyed a variety of sports, including snowboarding and skateboarding, and "he was very athletic, and he liked to play," she said.

Mr. Korona was a member of the Larchmont Swimming and Diving Team from 1988 to 2000. He had worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the Larchmont Swim Club for the last five years.

"His specialty [at the swim club] was teaching young children to swim," Neilson said. "He liked to tell the story of how he taught a child with cerebral palsy to swim" and how the youngster was thrilled at feeling a sense of freedom from the disease.

Mr. Korona was a member of Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel, where he had his bar mitzvah in 1994 and was confirmed in 1997.

He had been a member of the DeMasi Middle School softball team in Marlton.

He is survived by his parents, Gary and Wendi Krimsky Korona; a brother, Elliott; and his grandmother, Ilse Korona.

Services were held yesterday under the direction of Platt Memorial Chapels Inc., Cherry Hill. Burial was in Shalom Memorial Park, Lower Moreland, Montgomery County.

S. Joseph Hagenmayer's e-mail address is jhagenmayer@phillynews.com.

* This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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