Richard Lavern Corbitt Profile Photo

Richard Lavern Corbitt

March 26, 1930 — May 26, 2024


Richard L. Corbitt passed away on May 25, 2024 following complications of injuries received in a motor vehicle accident. He was 94.

Richard was born on March 26, 1930 in Ismay, Montana where he said he almost doubled the town's population. The youngest son of Harry and Evelyn Corbitt, he was part of a trio of Corbitt boys (Tom, Dick, and Harry. Yep.) The family moved with jobs for the Kansas Nebraska Gas Company, with Evelyn providing a stable and loving home throughout the challenges of the Depression.

Richard was never the largest, but he was always the fastest. He played all sports in high school in Nebraska and found himself on the track team at Kearney State Teachers College. Unfortunately, the Korean War came along, and Richard enlisted in the Navy. He spent most of the conflict aboard the USS Guadalupe, AO-32, as a boatswain mate, gunner, and small boat operator. That changed when an oil drum broke free in a storm and crushed his knee.

After discharge, Richard worked various jobs to save money to finish college. While in Alliance, Nebraska, he met the love of his life, Norma Schwaderer, the women he would spend the next 60 years with. They were married on September 1, 1956, and moved to Missoula where Richard received his teaching degree from the University of Montana in 1957. Go Griz.

After a brief first teaching job in Arlington, Washington, Richard and Norma found their forever home in Kalispell and Flathead High School. He taught history and economics in the early days but settled into teaching American Government for most of his 40 years at Flathead. Wearing a tie every day, this amazing teacher taught his students like they were the adults they aspired to be. During his time at Flathead, Richard also served as the Social Science Department head, track coach, and event ticket taker with his buddies Ray and Noel. He retired in 1989, having taught three generations of some Montana families.

After retirement, Richard lived the good life, full of golf, Griz games, and grandkids. He worked on and around his dream house that still boasts the best yard in town. Retirement was not without its challenges, and Richard showed his tenacity in surviving months in hospitals in Seattle and Missoula. His greatest challenge and greatest accomplishment were caring for Norma as she was slowly taken from him by dementia. When she was finally forced into a care center, he visited her daily. Every day. Even when she did not recognize him and could not speak.

Family was Richard's passion. He is survived by his daughter Traci of Kalispell; son Scott and his wife, Suzie of Lewiston, Idaho; and grandchildren Romano, 34, of Kalispell, and Madison, 25, and Jack, 23, of Moscow, Idaho.

At Richard's request, there will be no memorial service, but the family plans to have a celebration of life at a later date. Please send any cards, notes, or remembrances to 1309 8th Ave, Lewiston, ID 83501.


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