SEVERANCE — Murl Cleo Corbet, 96, died Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, at the Olathe Health Center Hospice House in Olathe. Born April 6, 1921, in Severance, he was the son of Guy and Mabel (Watkins) Corbet. Murl was the fourth of nine children and grew up as part of a large, farm family. He attended school in Severance and Hiawatha. In 1938 he, along with his three older brothers joined the National Guard in Hiawatha. He was called to active duty in the Army in 1940. Murl was part of the Normandy Invasion in 1944. He remained in Europe and part of the occupation forces returning to the United States in 1945. He received five bronze stars for his service during World War II. Murl worked as the National Guard clerk in Hiawatha and retired from the Guard as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1961.
Murl Corbet and Dolores Ione Smith were married in 1948 and settled in Hiawatha. They had three children: Murleen DeeAnn, Cleo Craig and Karen Rae. The family lived in Hiawatha until 1961 when they moved to Garden City. In 1965 they moved to Yates Center, where Murl owned and operated the Yates Center Locker Plant from 1965 to 1984. After selling his business, Murl continued to work as a handyman and roofer in the Yates Center area for many years.
Murl was very active in the Yates Center Community and served two terms as the Yates Center mayor. During his tenure as mayor, he was responsible for the construction of the new reservoir and water tower, allowing Yates Center to become a water supplier to the southeast Kansas region.
In addition, he represented Yates Center on several southeast Kansas committees including the Southeast Kansas Area Planning Commission and the Department of Corrections Juvenile Justice Committee. He was recognized for 30 years of volunteer service to Kansas Department of Children and Families in February of 2017.
Murl was an active member of the First Christian Church in Yates Center and served on the Church Board. Murl received recognition as a 70-year member of the American Legion in 2015 and was a 65-year member of the Masonic Lodge of Hiawatha. He was initiated into the United States Field Artillery Association Order of Saint Barbara in February. Murl moved to Overland Park in early 2017 where he lived with his daughter’s family.
Murl was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores, his parents, Guy and Mabel Corbet and six brothers Veryn, Dallas, Dale, Arland, Kenneth and Norman Corbet. He is survived by children, DeeAnn Freeman and husband Jim of Overland Park, Craig Corbet of Iola and Karen Berman and husband Dave of Las Vegas. Surviving grandchildren and great-grandchildren include Christopher and Stephanie Corbet and children Carter and Crosby, of San Diego, David and Carole Freeman and children, Daphne and Eleanor, of Paris, France, Daniel and Christine Freeman and daughter Lilianna, of Olathe, Brandon Berman and fiancé Natasha Fernandez, of Irvine, Calif., and Samantha Berman of Las Vegas. Other surviving family includes sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Lawrence Thonen of Hiawatha, sister Edna Mae Futscher of Sun City, Ariz., and many nieces and nephews.
The family will meet with friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, Hiawatha, with Masonic Committal Services a courtesy of Masonic Lodge No. 35, AF&AM, of Hiawatha. Family and friends are to go in procession to Oak Hill Cemetery, Severance, for graveside services at 2:30 p.m. The Rev. Dennis Fullbright of the First Christian Church will officiate.
Military honors will be conducted by Brown County Veterans Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Yates Center Town Hall, sent in care of the funeral home, 124 S. Seventh St., Hiawatha, KS 66434.
Friends may call at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, Hiawatha, from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
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