Cover photo for James Edward Corbin's Obituary
James Edward Corbin Profile Photo

James Edward Corbin

d. June 4, 2021

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


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