James R. Corbett

It's been a while, and I apologize. Between being on vacation for eleven days and all the hustle and bustle that goes with that, I've been away from the laptop for too long. In fact, I've been champing at the bit to get to work, but something else happened to put the brakes on the manuscript.

While we were gone, a long-time friend passed away unexpectedly. James Robert Corbett was one of those people you don't run into a lot in your life. I knew him for over half the years I've been on this planet. He had eclectic tastes in everything from Japanese Samurai films to food, and we discussed them a lot. But more than those details, he was a man of faith and faithfulness, both to his church and his friends.

Many years before I married my husband, I knew Jim and his wife Sandra at church. Later, my office moved into the same building they occupied, and years later when we moved out, he took over our space. (Including the deep orange/peachy paint my associate painted the walls one year when I was on vacation. OMG.) We didn't talk much while we were at work - being very busy, both of us - but I always knew if I needed help, all I had to do was knock on his door.

When my elder daughter graduated into the "college" class in Sunday School, she got Jim as her teacher. She told me once that she'd learned more from Jim than she ever had before about the Bible and prayer. Spiritual ideas came to her naturally, and Jim knew it. He encouraged her spirituality, and for that, I will ever be grateful.

We served on the Board at church together a year ago, or a bit more. In matters of progress and changing the way things had "always been done," we were allies. I, however, liked to move more quickly, while Jim took a more measured approach in general. He was probably right all along. He also undertook to handle the music and musicians, making sure contracts were signed with top notch people, as well as keeping on top of the church's maintenance. While I spearheaded the bigger issues, like new siding, Jim made sure the lights in the parking lot worked, and the doors closed properly so they could be locked without Herculean effort. We made a good team, I think.

I will always see him in a fav photo his sister once showed me of her "three amigos." Sprawled in beach chairs, looking for all the world like fishermen who'd made the Big Catch and were now enjoying elaborating on how much bigger the fish was than in real life, Jim is grinning beside his brother-in-law and nephew, much more mischievously than the other two.

 I will miss him. We all will. Good men of faith are too few on this earth.