Cover photo for CSM (Ret.) J. D. Corbett Sr.'s Obituary
CSM (Ret.) J. D. Corbett Sr. Profile Photo
1931 J. D. 2023

CSM (Ret.) J. D. Corbett Sr.

January 14, 1931 — July 6, 2023

Clarksville

J.D. Corbett Sr., 92, passed away on Thursday, July 6, 2023 in Clarksville, TN. A remarkable individual whose journey began on January 14, 1931, in Currie, North Carolina. Born to Chancey and Georgina Corbett, J.D. was embraced by a loving family that shaped him into the extraordinary person we remember today. Though he has left this earthly realm on July 6, 2023, his spirit soars eternally with the Lord.

J.D.'s faith played a significant role in his life. In 1965, he was baptized at Central Chapel in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and later found a spiritual home alongside Pastor Willie J. Freeman at the Greater Missionary Baptist Church, where he worshiped alongside his beloved wife, Ora Lee Corbett.

At the tender age of 14, J.D. faced the loss of his father and shouldered the responsibility of supporting his mother and siblings. He embarked on a journey of resilience and hard work, joining the shipyard in Wilmington, North Carolina. Despite the challenges, he persevered, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to his family.

Education was important to J.D., and during his youth, he attended Pender County Schools in Burgaw, North Carolina. At the age of 17, he made a decision that would shape the course of his life, enlisting in the Army in 1948. Thus began a remarkable military career spanning three decades, from 1948 to 1978, during which he rose to the esteemed rank of Command Sergeant Major.

J.D.'s service took him across the globe, from Korea to Panama, Vietnam to Germany, and various stateside assignments, including Fort Bragg, Fort Campbell, Fort Dix, and Fort Benning. Throughout his illustrious career, he received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Legion of Merit, two Purple Hearts, and various other honors. His commitment extended beyond duty, as he became a Senior Parachutist and earned Air Assault qualification. J.D. poured his heart into his army career, embodying devotion and dedication.

Upon retiring from the military, J.D. transitioned into civilian life and became a process controller at Jersey Mineral Zinc Plant, where he worked from 1978 to 1988. His thirst for knowledge and passion for writing led him to become a columnist for "The Press," where he penned articles exploring African American history, both past and present. Through his writing, he illuminated the experiences and contributions of his community, leaving a lasting impact.

J.D. embarked on a journey of love and companionship when he joined in matrimony with his devoted wife, Ora Lee Matlock, on May 29, 1954. Together, they raised three sons: J.D. (Toni) Corbett Jr., Quentin (Melva) Corbett, and Kelvin (Ester) Corbett Sr. As a husband and father, J.D. exemplified devotion, providing unwavering support and guidance to his family.

In his pursuit of aiding others in their employment endeavors, J.D. established a business specializing in typing and resume writing, offering his expertise to support individuals seeking work opportunities. He also started a pen pal dating service, striving to bring companionship and connection to those in search of meaningful relationships.

Today, as we bid farewell to J.D. Corbett Sr., let us remember the indomitable spirit of a man who faced adversity with courage, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to family, community, and country. His legacy lives on through the lives he touched and the memories he created. May his soul find eternal peace, and may we carry his inspiration in our hearts forever.

In addition to his parents, Chancey and Georgina, J.D. is preceded in death by his siblings, Willie Mae Simpson, Thad Sr (Corbett), Miller, and Adolph. He is survived by his siblings, Doris Wilson, Mable McCollough, and Hazel Jacobs, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a host of great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at First Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday, July 13, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. with visitation for the hour prior. Burial will take place at 1:00 P.M. at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville, KY.

Final arrangements entrusted to Gateway Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 335 Franklin St. Clarksville, TN 37040. Phone: 931-919-2600. Online condolences may be made by visiting gatewayfh.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of CSM (Ret.) J. D. Corbett Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, July 13, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

First Missionary Baptist Church

301 Fairview Ln, Clarksville, TN 37040

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Funeral Service

Thursday, July 13, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First Missionary Baptist Church

301 Fairview Ln, Clarksville, TN 37040

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Thursday, July 13, 2023

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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