Attorney Ronald P. Corbett turned 95 last Saturday, and was recognized at a Mass celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church, offered in memory of his late wife, Virginia T. (Kingston) Corbett, for his lifelong contribution of volunteerism, fundraising, and philanthropy in his beloved parish and beyond.
Mr. Corbett was born and raised in Revere, and remains one of its residents. He attended Immaculate Conception School, graduating in 1938 with Great Honors and as Class President. He was co-captain of the 1938 Revere American Legion baseball team that won its way to the national semi-finals in Princeton, Indiana. He went on to attend Boston College, graduating in 1942. He was a member of the football team there, and was a center on the Cotton and Sugar Bowls teams in 1941. Enrollment in the United States Army followed in World War II, where he served in Europe under General George Patton in his 3rd Army, 4th Armored Division. His fluency in French was of great strategic use to his battalion, and he took part in the famous D-Day beach invasions, as well as the historic Battle of the Bulge. At the end of the war, he was honorably discharged as a Corporal.
Following his wartime service, he enrolled in Boston College Law School, and graduated in 1951. He was married that year, and he and his wife had four children, Ronald Jr., Nancy, Jonathan, and Bryan. Opening a law firm in Revere, (Corbett, Corbett, and Brereton), Attorney Corbett has been practicing law for 65 years. He also served alongside his friend, Major George V. Colella, as Chairman of the Board of Assessors, beginning in 1965 and retiring in 1991 with Colella.
Mr. Corbett has been a lifelong member of the local Knights of Columbus and have served in many capacities, most currently as Grand Knight for many years. The Knights of Columbus is a global Catholic fraternity, and is the largest Catholic charitable organization in the world.
One of his volunteer positions for the IC parish was as Head Coach of their high school football team from 1949 to 1966, and his teams were undefeated for several years. Upon his retirement in 1966, an event in his honor was held at the Wonderland Ballroom with over 1000 well-wishers in attendance, most notably Frank Leahy, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, who coached Ron at BC. Leahy went on to many victories coaching at the University of Notre Dame as well.
Ron Corbett never expected anything from anyone that he has helped throughout his long life, and that number include thousands. In the words of St. Francis, “It is giving that we receive.” He’s a living example of a great Catholic man, whose parochial, governmental, and community service has helped shape our city in many, many important ways for 95 years. Congratulations, Ron! Your hometown wishes you the best of health, the best of luck, and the best of times. Icon, indeed!