John L. Corbett passed away at his home on Friday, May 22, 2020. John was born in Waterbury on January 18, 1945 to the late Thomas F. Corbett and Patricia (Sullivan) Corbett. He was the second of their five children. John is survived by his brothers F. David Corbett and Thomas F. Corbett and his sisters Janet M. Lauer (Gene) and Patricia C. Feldtmose (Ken) and his nephews Thomas Feldtmose and Matthew Lauer and a niece Catherine Feldtmose Dixon.
In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his sister-in-law Betty Q. Corbett and his nephew, Waterbury Deputy Police Chief, Christopher D. Corbett.
In his younger days John worked in several local factories and as a substitute teacher. He then became an independent real estate broker operating his own firm. For the last twelve years he was an employee of the City of Waterbury working for the Waterbury Parking Authority and retired in early May of this year.
Those who knew John well invariably described his as very intelligent and possessed of an amazing memory. John could reel off statistics and facts on all manner of subjects. Occasionally a skeptic would fact-check him on the computer only to find that John was right.
John had a wide range of intellectual interests which he sometimes wrote op-ed articles about. His articles have appeared in the Waterbury Republican-American, the local Italian newspaper and various other newspapers.
When John was in college he wrote a paper analyzing James Joyce’s impenetrable novel “Finnegan’s Wake”. He brought the paper home after the teacher graded it and tossed it on the desk in his bedroom. His older brother saw the paper and noticed that scrawled across the front of the paper was the statement “You don’t belong here”. His brother, who could be officious, started to question him on what he perceived was a poor grade. John smiled wryly and told him to look inside, which his brother did. The inside of the paper had the most abundant praise and a grade of A-plus. John quietly explained to his incredulous brother that his teacher thought he should apply to his (the teacher’s) alma mater, Yale University.
John was an avid Boston Red Sox fan. In 1978 he expressed an interest in attending the famous Yankee-Red Sox playoff game to his friend and co-worker Anthony ‘Ace’ Guzzardi. Ace told John that there would be two tickets at a certain gate. John’s family and friends were dubious that Ace would be able to secure tickets to such a much sought after game, but not John, he drove up to Boston and his faith was rewarded, two tickets were there for him. John was besieged by people who wanted to pay him a large sum of money for his extra ticket. John would take no money; he gave it to the first person who made him an offer. John had a great time even though the Red Sox lost the game.
John was always there for his family. He never refused them when they asked for help. He was his parents’ primary caretaker in the last years of their long lives. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by his family and his friends.
Memorial contributions in John’s memory can be made to the Christopher D. Corbett Memorial Foundation which awards scholarships to area parochial elementary and high schools.
A memorial mass in John’s memory will be celebrated when the Covid-19 danger has passed.