Wilford Ware Corbin, age 94, Abingdon, VA, entered Heaven on March 28, 2022. Wilford was preceded in death by his beloved wife of fifty-eight years, Mary Virginia Moses Corbin, his father, Thomas Furman Corbin, Sr., his mother, Pauline Ware, his stepmother, Annalee Holland Corbin, and his brother, Jerry E. Corbin.
Wilford is survived by his brothers, Thomas Furman Corbin, Jr., Ph.D, (Joanne), Denver, CO, Jackie David Corbin, Ph.D, Nashville, TN, James Michael Corbin (Sue), Garfield, AR, his stepbrother, Eugene McIntyre (Sofia), Walnut Creek, CA, his daughter, Paula Corbin Kahn (Rob), Abingdon, VA, his sons, Tommy Corbin (Cathy), Morehead, KY, Carroll Corbin (Lori), Boone, NC, and Eric Corbin (Vanessa), Waynesville, NC, his grandchildren, Rendon Corbin (Andrea), Palmer, AK, Chandler Corbin, Tuckasegee, NC, Candice Corbin, Marco Island, FL, and Mariah Corbin Stanick (Max), Winston-Salem, NC, his great grandchildren, Carolina Corbin, Addison Corbin, and Ivy Corbin, Palmer, AK, and many nieces and nephews.
Will was born in a Gennette Logging Camp on October 25, 1927, near Norma, TN, and received elementary and secondary education in Higdonville School and Franklin High School, Macon County, NC. Will served in the United States Navy from 1945 -1948, was recalled to active duty on the USS Missouri (BB-63) during the Korean War and was the recipient of seven military service awards. Will returned to his education plans following the Korean War, graduated from Western Carolina Teachers College in 1953, and received a master’s degree in education from Western Carolina Teachers College in 1958. Will’s education career included teaching and administrative positions in Macon County, NC School District and in Cherokee, NC, Wales, Scammon Bay, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, AK as an employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Will grew tomatoes for commercial sale in the late 1960s as a member of the Macon County Tomato Growers Cooperative, and he also began growing Fraser fir Christmas trees at this time. Following retirement from his education career, Will continued growing his Fraser fir trees until 2010. Will also was a dedicated member of the Appalachian Trail Maintenance Crew, Nantahala and Mount Rogers Districts, for parts of NC, TN, and VA from 1999 till 2017. Will cherished the nickname, “axeman,” given to him by members of the Trail Crew, and Will also took pride in receiving the “Best Wood Chopper Award” at the Franklin, NC, 1955 Centennial Celebration.
Will was an ardent fan in Western Carolina’s Catamount Club, and his taxidermy skill resulted in his mounting the catamount that sat in the Western Carolina University trophy case for many years. Will followed the Atlanta Braves baseball team game by game, and he coached Franklin, NC, Little and Senior League baseball teams for many years.
Will didn’t know any strangers; he made friends with all the folks he met, and he was a talented storyteller. Will authored A World Apart: My Life Among the Eskimos of Alaska and co-authored The Boys of Battle Branch with his brother, Jackie Corbin.
Will was a founding member of the Higdonville, NC, Baptist Church, and a visitation will be held outdoors on Friday, April 1, 2022, from 1:30pm – 2:00pm with funeral services following at 2:00 pm at the church.
Pastor Gene Hawkins officiating.
Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Memorial contributions honoring Will can be made to Higdonville Baptist Church, 1990 Ellijay Rd, Franklin, NC 28734; Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club, P.O. Box 789, Damascus, VA 24236-0789; Nantahala Hiking Club, Melissa Myers, 477 Holly Springs Estates Rd, Franklin, NC 28734.
This is a courtesy announcement by Farris Funeral Service and Crematory, 427 East Main Street, Abingdon, VA 24210, (276) 623-2700.