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James Edward Corbin

James (Jim) Edward Corbin, 67, of Sylva, NC passed

away with his wife at his side on June 4, 2021 at

Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville.

Jim was born in Asheville, NC on December 17, 1953

and was preceded in death by his parents, the late

Barbara Cooke Corbin and John Franklin Corbin, Jr. of

Sylva and brother, Robert Joseph Corbin of Sylva.

Jim grew up in Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL but

visited his grandparents occasionally in Sylva. He

attended the University of California at Berkeley on a

football scholarship and later spent a year with the

professional football team, the Washington Redskins.

Jim graduated from Western Carolina University in 1988

with a degree in Biology. He worked for the North

Carolina Extension Service but spent the majority of his

career at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Although he lived in different states, Jim always loved

the beauty of the mountains. He dedicated the

majority of his working career to preserving native

plants of the Great Smoky Mountains and in particular

ginseng. His creativity allowed him to generate unique

protective marking programs to protect plants in the

Great Smoky Mountains. His different techniques were

featured in National Wildlife, The New Yorker, and also

used by the U. S. Navy to protect species of turtles.

In his spare time, Jim was an avid gardener and was

known to nurture house plants thought to be dead and

bring them back to life with his green thumb. He

enjoyed wood carving, painting, playing the banjo, and

creating bonsai.

Jim is survived by his wife of 41 years, Renee Corbin and

two daughters, Courtney of Syracuse, NY and Tia Corbin

of Sylva, NC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests

donations to the Friends of the Smokies organization at

https://friendsofthesmokies.org/ to continue to protect

and preserve native plants in the Great Smoky


Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to

Appalachian Funeral Services.

No services are planned at this time at the final request

of the deceased.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Corbin, please visit our flower store.


Jim Corbin was the silent good Samaritan. He was always helping someone. He knew some of those he helped and others he did not. His knowledge of plants and herbs were unsurpassed. I enjoyed his sense of humor and I hope he enjoyed mine. His passing is a huge loss for Jackson County.

Susan Fouts Jun 9 2021 12:00 AM

Jim was my good neighbor and my friend. His neighborliness manifested itself in many ways. Jim was a loving & expert handler of dogs. As such, he helped one of our sons deal with a most difficult dog that son owned. When it snowed, Jim was often out clearing our steep & twisted road before the Town. Jim regularly patrolled our neighborhood in his truck bringing his intelligence, competence and humor to bear on problems that might arise. We are saddened by his passing and extend our sincere sympathy to Renee and their girls. Jim will be missed. Rick Harper

Richard Harper Jun 7 2021 12:00 AM

Renee and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you in thoughts and in prayers. Carleen Cabe Parham

Carleen Jun 6 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of James Corbin

Carleen Jun 6 2021 12:00 AM

Jim, Was a tremendous friend and coworker for many years with NCDACS. Jim was great man of humility and demonstrated it in his life. We at NCDA&CS extend our condolences to Renee and his daughters. I will always remember the ginseng trips in the efforts he lead to protect this plant. We all will miss Jim but this world is better off having known him and all he contributed to it. Phil Wilson

Phil Wilson Jun 6 2021 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 1 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM