CHARLESTON, SC --- Michael Robert Corneau, 52, renowned Charleston goldsmith and jewelry designer, died peacefully in the company of his wife Meredith and his family after suffering complications from flu and pneumonia February 13, 2019 while on a business trip in Tucson, Arizona. He and Meredith own Corneau Goldsmithing Jewelry Gallery, 92 Hasell Street in downtown Charleston.
Michael was born on December 19, 1966 in Elmira, New York where he graduated high school and then college at Rochester Institute of Technology.
He became a master-trained goldsmith, gemologist and custom jewelry designer, developing a signature style that incorporated color and creativity. Mike’s lifelong dream came true in 2014 when he opened Corneau Goldsmithing Gallery in downtown Charleston and he began to design his own line of custom jewelry. Mike and Meredith worked together to grow the business and attract collectors from all over the world. Some of Mike’s creations are displayed in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, part of a collection of jewelry willed to the museum that includes several pieces that he designed and produced.
There was more to Mike than running a business to make money. “It’s all about the people,” he said. “Everything is all about the people and what my jewelry does for them. It’s that sense of accomplishment when you see somebody break down in tears or when you see that smile and they give you this bear hug and squeeze you. That is the ultimate satisfaction.”
Mike was an avid fan of the New York Yankees and loved to spend time with Meredith and their two boxer puppies on the beach. He is survived by his beloved wife, his parents Robert and Hope Corneau of Elmira, New York, sisters Dawn and Michelle, eight nieces and nephews and many members of his loving extended family. The family will hold a memorial celebration of life at a future date. Meredith Scott Corneau will continue the business, working with artists and goldsmiths in the tradition she and Mike began.
A memorial will be held on Sunday March 3 from 3:00-5:00 pm at Corneau Goldsmithing Jewelry Gallery, 92 Hasell Street in downtown Charleston. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Charleston Animal Society in Mike's name.