A life well lived is a precious gift, of hope and strength and grace,
From someone who has made our world a brighter, better place
It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad with smiles and sometimes tears,
With friendships formed and good times shared and laughter through the years.
A life well lived is a legacy of joy and pride and pleasure,
A living, lasting memory our grateful hearts will treasure.
Surrounded by his family, and those that meant the world to him, Gerald “Jerry” G. Corbin, 78, of Sayre, Pennsylvania, passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at his home.
Jerry was born Jan. 10, 1942 in Waverly, New York, the youngest child and son of George G. Corbin and Irene Pendleton Corbin. Jerry grew up on Orwell Hill, where he went to school for six years at the Orwell Hill School, followed by two years at the LeRaysville School. Jerry was very proud to have been part of the first freshman class to graduate from the Northeast Bradford high school in 1959. Upon graduation, Jerry joined the United States Navy, where he achieved the rank of 2nd class Petty Officer and was honorably discharged after four years of service to his country.
Anyone who crossed paths with Jerry instantly found a quick-witted friend and a straight-forward businessman who gave tirelessly back to all the places in Bradford County he called home. In 1963, Jerry worked for a time at the Stroehmann Bakery in South Waverly before taking a job with Carl Etshman Company, a Wise potato chip and snack distributorship in Sayre, where he worked for 17 years. In 1980, when Mr. Etshman retired, Jerry purchased the business, running it for 20 years before retiring and passing it on to his sons, who still run it today. On June 26, 1982, Jerry married the love of his life, Linda Sue (Wood) Raupers, and together they celebrated 38 years of not only being married, but being the absolute best of friends.
It never much mattered where it was that he was currently hanging his hat in this country that he proudly served, infinitely loved, and to which he was humbly devoted. It also didn’t matter the season, nor the day, or if the weather was cooperating. Crisp fall days found Jerry quietly making his way through the woods, looking for that buck or doe. On muggy June mornings, as mist rose off Cook’s Pond, he was just as easily spotted standing along the shores of this wetland sanctuary of which he was instrumental in preserving, as it had been part of his family for generations. His life, one that took him from the hills and valleys of the Endless Mountains to the spell-binding, snow-covered peaks of the Canadian Rockies, from his beloved Cook’s Pond to places in the South and the Great Plains, one thing was absolutely certain: Jerry Corbin’s true essence and soul were products of his numerous successes.
Upon his retirement, Jerry and Linda spent some time traveling across all of North America, seeing nearly every state and most of Canada. In 1998 Jerry built the Valley Storage Mall on Route 199 in Athens. A few years into retirement, Jerry and his sons purchased the Valley Stockyards on Route 199 in Athens. Because of Jerry’s love of history and antiques, that site is also host to The Stockyards Flea and Farmers Market that runs on Mondays and special holidays throughout the summer months.
Jerry’s life was one full of living well and in the present. He was an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, and hunter who was passionate about conservation of wetlands and forests. With his sons and life-long friends, he took many hunting trips throughout the western United States and up into Alberta, Canada, and those adventures brought him face to face with moose, deer, elk, and black bear. Family being very important to Jerry, he spent over 20 years doing his genealogy, where he proudly discovered that he was a descendant of Oliver Corbin, who fought in the Civil War for the Union.
Jerry gave back to his community effortlessly, as he was passionate about ensuring that the local economy thrived. Over the course of his life, Jerry held a variety of important positions in different professional and civic organizations. Professionally, Jerry was the past director of the Wise Food Distributors Association and served as treasurer of the Direct Store Distribution Association for several years. Locally, he served as a Cub Scout leader for several years, mentoring young men to become leaders later in life. Jerry was the past president of the Sayre Sportsmen’s Club and served for many years as the president of the Cook’s Pond Association, an organization he founded to preserve the pond, marshes, and wetlands in his boyhood home of Potterville. Jerry was a member of the Roman Lodge No. 418 and the Sayre Elks Lodge No. 1148, proudly enjoying being a FreeMason for over 50 years. Jerry was also a lifetime member of the Owego (Waverly) Moose Lodge and a lifetime member of the Haigh’s Pond No. 6824 VFW and the NRA.
Those he leaves behind will forever see Jerry in the rolling hills, when they spy a deer, or when they come across people quietly fishing at Cook’s Pond. Missing him most will be the center of his world, his family. They are Linda, at home; and his children from his first marriage, Todd Michael, his wife Victoria, and their children and grandchildren, and Keith Bradley, his wife, Mary, and his granddaughter Olivia, all of Sayre; and his daughter Beth Ann Hyde and granddaughter Molly Hyde, both of Horseheads; and his step-sons Kenneth Raupers Sr. of Wellsburg, New York, and Rick Raupers of Ulster, Pennsylvania; step-grandsons Nathan (Allyssa), Travis, Kenneth Jr. (Katrina), Macen (Kaylee). Jerry will also be treasured forever by his sister and brother-in-law, Christine and Ira Thetga, Potterville, and brother-in-law Gary Wood and wife Deborah of Gillett, Pennsylvania, and Galen Wood and wife Jo of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania; and sister-in-law Connie Garrity of Vero Beach, Florida. Jerry’s array of nieces, nephews, and cousins will hold his memory in love and esteem, along with the hundreds of people who crossed his trail as he navigated his blessed and fruitful life. Jerry was welcomed into heaven by his parents; his sister, Lila Mae Bowen; his brother and sister-in-law, George “Dana” and Ada Jean Corbin; his nephews, Mark Corbin and Robert Bowen; his niece, Cathy Jo Thetga; and his beloved canine friends, Thor, Chip, and his first and best four-legged friend forever, Pat.
Family and friends are invited to attend a period of visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 at the Sutfin Funeral Chapel, 273 S. Main St., Nichols with all state-required social distancing guidelines being followed. Jerry’s family warmly invites family and friends to celebrate how blessed all are at having Jerry be part of our lives at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1 at the Sutfin Funeral Chapel. A period of visitation will also be held from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, prior to the service. Interment and prayers of committal with Military Honors will be accorded in the Darling Cemetery. Memories and condolences may be shared by visiting his guest book at www.sutfinfuneralchapel.com. Flowers will be provided by the family and memorial contributions may be directed to the Darling Cemetery, c/o Mrs. Janice Hicks, 589 Gulf Road, Rome, PA 18837 or your local animal shelter in loving memory of Gerald G. Corbin.