James Lewis Corbet, a lifelong Arizona resident passed away Aug. 16, 2019, in Wickenburg, Arizona. Born May 13, 1939, in Phoenix, and raised in Yuma, attending Crane Elementary School and Yuma Union High School, graduating a proud Yuma Union “Criminal” and an accomplished athlete earning varsity letters in football, basketball and wrestling. He held the offices of President of the Associated Men Students and Student Body President.
Jim followed in the footsteps of his brother Leo to the hallowed Wildcat country of the University of Arizona. While preparing for his legal career, he lettered in wrestling, represented the University wrestling team in the Border Conference, was a member of Sophos, Chain Gang and Bobcats, and selected for Who’s Who among students in Colleges and Universities. He served as President of Sigma Chi Fraternity, wherein friendships were cultivated and maintained throughout his lifetime. In his spare time, he earned his pilot’s license, which lead to many years of flying. He graduated from the College of Business at the University of Arizona in 1961.
He then went on to attend and graduate from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, earning a Degree in Law in 1964. Following law school, in 1965, he moved back to Arizona and clerked under Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hyder, then went on to join brother Leo’s law firm in Phoenix. In 1967 he married Carolyn O’Neil, and soon found his calling in Wickenburg.
In 1970 he moved his young family to Wickenburg to settle down, raise the children and continue his law practice. Jim soon became an actively involved community leader, board member and President of the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce; lifetime member of the Elks, member of Wickenburg Parks and Recreation Commission, Downtown Revitalization Commission, board and president of the Rotary Club, Charter member and member of the Board of the Wickenburg Regional Health Care Foundation, Secretary and member of the Wickenburg Community Hospital Association board, member and Board of Directors of the Desert Caballeros, Man of the Year, Charter member of the Sheriff’s Posse, T-ball and Little League coach, member of the board and charter member of the Wickenburg Pop Warner Association, member of the volunteer Fire Department, Chief of the Wickenburg Rural Fire District, Co-chairman of the Wickenburg Old Timer’s Rodeo, Gold Rush Days Parade Chairman, and General Chairman, and a supporter of the Wickenburg Cultural Organization. In addition to his busy law practice, he served as town attorney, spearheaded numerous community activities, fundraisers and was a faithful donor throughout the community.
In 1983 Jim pursued a second successful career in the real estate sector, obtaining his real estate license and not long thereafter his broker’s license. In 1990 he opened Corbet Realty with wife Carolyn and son Paco, and sold real estate in and around Wickenburg until retiring in 2011.
In 1990, Jim pursued his lifelong dream of sailing. He successfully accomplished the courses and enjoyed sailing the coast of California, Baja and Sea of Cortez, in 1994 he crewed a 53’ cutter sailing from Bora Bora, Tahiti to Coronado, Calif.
In October of 2016, after a long distance relationship, he married Beverley Bodiroga, who joined Jim working alongside managing the numerous real estate properties and investments, known as Corbet Properties.
Jim was a beloved family man and friend who loved dancing, music, and his community. He is predeceased by his parents, Leo Corbet and Lucille Young Corbet, and his first wife Carolyn O’Neil Corbet. He is survived by his wife Beverley Bodiroga Corbet; brothers Leo (Kathy), Frank, Chris (Elaine), Jan Lee (Elaine); three children Paco (Jaimee), Matt (Maria) and Chelsea (DJ); and six grandchildren, Keelyn Yachanin, Tinker Bergman-Corbet, Paige Erichsen, Carolyn Corbet, Coles Bergman-Corbet and Tessa Corbet.
Jim’s warm smile and friendly “howdy” will be missed by all.
A Memorial Reception will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, between 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the Rancho de los Caballeros Golf Club, 1551 S. Vulture Mine Rd, Wickenburg, AZ 85390, in lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.