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JAMES' OBITUARY

On January 14, 2019, the Lord awarded James Edward Corbett his crown of righteousness. Jim fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. Jim passed away peacefully in his home with his wife, Deborah, beside him.  

Jim was born on April 7, 1952 in Tallahassee, Florida to Grace and James Edward Corbett, Sr. He was the youngest of three children, with twin sisters Jane and Anne.

Jim spent the first part of his life in Tallahassee, including graduating from Florida State University in 1974. He and Deborah married on November 26, 1975, and as newlyweds, began their careers in Chicago. While working full time for ITT Corporation by day, Jim attended John Marshall Law School at night for five years. During that time, he and Deborah had their first two children, Matt and Melissa.

Upon graduating from law school, the family moved to Evansville, Indiana where Jim first began practicing law. They had two more children, Sarah and Sam, before relocating to Springfield, Missouri in 1985.

The Corbett family found their home in Springfield. Jim founded Corbett Law Firm in 1986 and continued to practice law until his health declined. Jim loved his work and had great success but would not want to be remembered for his job.  

Jim was a wonderful husband, dad, and friend. He always gave his best to his family. He and Deborah were happily married for 43 years. Through the years, they welcomed many children into their home and gave them a safe place to flourish. In addition to their biological children, they raised their nephew, Nate, and adopted their youngest daughter, Lilly, from China in 2007. Their children grew up in a home full of faith, laughter, and fun. He loved his family well.

Jim had a sweet relationship with Jesus and spent his time and energy investing in people. He made us all laugh with his amazing storytelling. He was incredibly generous and would meet the needs of others cheerfully. He believed the best in others and encouraged us to pursue our passions. He adored his grandchildren and had a special relationship with each of them. He lived for adventure and loved to travel with his family. Jim loved to snow ski in Whistler, British Columbia and SCUBA dive in the Florida Keys.  

Everyone who had the privilege of knowing Jim was positively impacted by his life. Jim was actively involved in First Baptist Church and Freeway Ministries. At church, he taught the 5th and 6th grade boys Sunday School class. Jim loved the work of Freeway. Last February, he had the privilege of traveling to South Africa to work with the local Freeway in Capetown.   

Last April, Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and only given weeks to live. The Lord mercifully gave us nine more months to spend with him. After the diagnosis, Jim had the most amazing attitude. He was comforted by Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” He turned his focus towards heaven and eagerly looked forward to eternity where he would be perfectly healed in Jesus’ presence. When he took his last breath, there was deep peace surrounding him.

Jim finished his race well. We are proud of the man he was and for the legacy of faith he has left behind. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servant.” (Psalm 116:15)     

Jim is survived by his wife, Deborah, their five children: Matt (Jennifer) Corbett, Melissa Corbett, Sarah (Brett) Williams, Sam (Stephanie) Corbett, Lilly Corbett; nephew, Nate (Malayna) Woods; ten grandchildren; twin sisters Jane (Jim) Shimeall and Anne Brown; and a large, wonderful extended family.

The family would love for you to share what Jim has meant to you at www.jimcorbettmemories.com ; they will treasure your meaningful stories and fun memories.

We are honoring Jim the way he lived his life, with the joy and assurance of eternity. Please wear bright colors to his Celebration of Life at 2:00 pm on Sunday, January 27, at First Baptist Church (525 South Avenue Springfield, MO 65806).

MEMORIAL SERVICE

First Baptist Church
Sunday, January 27, 2019
2:00 PM
525 South Ave.
Springield, MO 65806
525 South Ave. Springfield, MO 65806

Memories

John Wells

Jim was my next door neighbor on the corner of Mary’s Drive and Kathryn Drive in Tallahassee, FL. We used to play a lot of neighborhood football and softball during …

Lori Huffman

I met Jim through Kim Harper when I worked for the Radiologists at Cox Hospital. I worked on all the Lawyer claims & Jim & his people were always nice …

Jeff Bauer

Jim was someone I always looked forward to talking to, as every time I would smile at some point in the conversation or meeting, if not outright laugh. At the …

Paul Wacker

I met Jim as a Plaintiffs attorney 25 years ago, as I defended a difficult trucking case, with terrible injuries to his clients, an elderly married couple. He was a …

Kurt Larson

My friendship with Jim spanned twenty-four years, during which he was my mentor, my law partner, my marathon training buddy, my best man, and my true friend. True friends know …

Darren Helton

I went to Jim when I needed parenting advice, business advice, or just someone to talk to. He always had time to help me. He always had time to help …

Mike Small

Without question, and in so many ways, Jim Corbett was a great person. He was one of a kind. He was smart, kind, understanding and patient, accepting and forgiving; he …

Jim Newberry

I considered Jim a good friend and knew him to be a fearless advocate for his clients. I admired him for his intolerance to foot-dragging and nonsense. Others talk about …

Lilly Corbett

My hero, best friend, sushi date buddy, and everything else. There are no words to describe my dad, Jim Corbett. Except for the fact that he was an extraordinary man. …

Jason Brown

Jim was always a pleasure to have in Court. He consistently had cordial and professional relationships with opposing counsel. He was always honest and objective about the strengths and weaknesses …

Ashley (Meyer) Mills

I will do my best to tell this story of Mr. Corbett and his genuine love for people. My mom is an black woman born in South Louisiana. She was …

Curtis Richardson

Jim Corbett was a great friend and he was also one of my greatest encouragers. God brought Jim and Deborah into our lives through various ministry connections. We were privileged …

Chris Shaefer

When I think of Jim, it is the same now as it has always been. A man that I am proud to know and consider a friend. His kindness and generosity are …

Lina Robertson

I had the privilege of working for Jim from 1988-1991, and again from 1998-2000. There was never a day that I did not witness his compassion towards someone in need. …

Kim Harper

I have worked for Jim for 26 years. When you find a boss who also becomes a friend, a mentor, and a second father, you realize just how lucky you …

Ann Woody

Our family was so fortunate to have spent so much time with Jim and Deborah during our kids’ formative years. We shared soccer and acro experiences where Jim was always …

Don Woody

Jim always made me feel better about myself after I was around him or talked to him. He always spoke highly of my kids which always made me feel proud …

Lisa King

I moved to Springfield in 1994, and met Jim sometime in that first year of working here. I remember my first deposition with him as vividly as I remember my …

Brad Smith

My family and I have had the privilege of knowing Jim and Deborah for many years. Jim has always been quick with a welcome smile even in difficult situations. He …

Bob Smith

So many things come to mind when I think of Jim and our times together. One time in Canada we went looking for gold. It turned out the only one …

Sara Snelson

My favorite memory of him occurred in my middle school years—about four years ago. I was spending the night at Lilly’s house when we got into an argument because I …

Kurt Larson

As a lawyer that had the privilege to work alongside Jim, I sat at his elbow and watched him treat all clients – from the owner of the largest TV …

John Schultz

Jim was never afraid to try a case. He was fearless. He worked tirelessly to advocate for his clients. I enjoyed working on cases with Jim. I came to respect …

Terri Parker

Jim was a great guy. A terrific sense of humor, smart and fun to be around. Also, a wonderful trial attorney. I will miss him. 

Jason Corbett

In this time of overwhelming sorrow and grief, I can only imagine the anguish you are feeling after witnessing Jim’s journey with his illness come to an end. Your unflinching …

Dan Conklin

(PHOTOGRAPH MISSING PLEASE UPLOAD AGAIN) Pic is Jim having a meaningful discussion about multi-car rear-end cases, with me and Dr. Blaine. He had “no quit” in his bones. It was …

Kent Hyde

In the 1980’s we tried a week long case as adversaries. I learned a lot and he and I remained close friends from then on. He could find the sunshine …

Heather Cooper

Im in so much shock… First I want ro send Jim’s family my sincere condolences. Jim was an amazing man and lawyer… I hired him several times and he always …

Ken Oates

Unfortunately, the only memory that I have of Jim Jr. was when I was a young boy around 8 or 9 and my family went to visit Uncle Ed and …

David Tunnell

I will always be grateful that I was blessed to be associated with Jim Corbett. I started working at Corbett Law Firm between semesters of law school in December 1999, …

Steve Snead

Jim was a worthy advocate, capable of shrewd moves in a courtroom in front of a jury, or in chambers with the judge. That made him dangerous and effective. But he …

John Stroup

Jim Corbett was the most generous man I have ever met. He took me into his life, and I will never be the same because of it. We traveled to …

Mary Lou Martin

Sadly, Mr. Corbett and I did not have the opportunity to work together, opposing one another. Yet, I always will remember seeing him in the courthouse, well-mannered, with a smile …

Kevin FitzGerald

I first met Jim as an adversary and later got to know him as a friend. As an adversary, he was up to speed on the law (although he claimed …

Don Burrell

It wasn’t very long after I took my oath of office and started working as a rookie circuit judge in Greene County when I met and began to get to …

Chandler Gregg

Jim was a great lawyer and man. As a lawyer, he provided such an incredible service to his clients, and to the legal profession – very few if any can …

Neil Chanter

Other than his jest for life, and his incredible ability as a trial lawyer – we will always remember Jim for being the cornerstone of every experience we ever got …

Crista Hogan

When I think of Jim I think of everything a good man and good lawyer should be. Kind, capable and generous. In the high stress world of attorneys, Jim never …

Ashley Hoover Schuette

I graduated from law school in 2005 and came straight to Springfield to start working at what was then Taylor Stafford Clithero Fitzgerald & Harris. One of my first assignments …

Danett Letterman

I worked for Jim as a legal assistant while I was in college at MSU in the early 1990’s. I blew up the engine in the little Nissan truck I …

Ann Huey

Jim will be greatly missed! I met Jim and Deb many years ago, approximately 30 years ago. This man loved fresh crappie, so on the weekends we fished, I would …

Jan Wheeler

I first met Jim when he represented my mom after she was in a car accident. If he represented you, then he pretty much became your friend. Years later….I’m talking …

Bill Winhold

Jim always gave me a hug and a handshake. I told him once that I was a little worried about making it to the rest of the month because of …

Shelby Lawson

Jim and Deb have been such a blessing in our life. We met at Crossbridge Church but Clark was acquainted with Jim through law practice. We were blessed to worship …

Mary Schreiber

My memories of Jim always bring a smile or chuckle or a knee slap belly laugh. Smiles when I think of his generosity and willingness to share his home with …

Sarah Williams

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, …

Steve Garner

Words are insufficient to describe Jim. He inspired me as a lawyer and often awed me with a mind that in my opinion is incomparable. He inspired me as a …

Joshua Lane

I was a painter in my younger years and my boss Shannon Swearingen had many contracts with Jim. He always had a moment for me even if he was extremely …

Kristen Cooper

Uncle Jim is the reason this Florida girl fell in love with the Keys (along with the rest of my family) and he is also the reason I finally got …

Christy Huffman-Phillips

Where do I begin? I first met Jim & Deborah through our daughters Lily & Brionna. They invited me to join them for Lily’s birthday dinner at Flame. I had …

Sophia Peck

I remember meeting Mr. Corbett for the first time in person. It was Lilly’s birthday dinner and we went to Flame. He was so kind and asked a lot of …

Nancy Jaeger

Jim was an extraordinary man. My favorite memories are from a trip we took with the KDEB team to Colorado for the Pikes Peak Tournament at the Air Force Academy. …