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Remembering Gary Corbin

Jillian Otten - Monday, July 15, 2019

Gary George Corbin passed away on July 12, 2019 after a year long battle with cancer.

Gary was born on December 13, 1941 in Bedford, IN to George and Mamie Corbin.  He graduated from Bedford High School and attended Anderson University where he played on the football team and was nominated all conference all four years.  Gary married Sheila Buck in 1962 and through college worked the night shift at Delco Remy where he was a proud member of the UAW.  

After completing his undergraduate degree in sociology and his Masters of Divinity, Gary and Sheila moved to Clio, MI in 1967 where he served as Pastor of the Community Church of God and Sheila was a teacher in the Clio Area Schools.

Inspired by the challenge of President Kennedy to do more for his community, he was elected to the Genesee County Board of Commissioners in 1970 and elected to the Michigan State Senate in 1974 and re-elected in 1978 and 82, serving as Assistant Majority Leader and Majority Floor Leader.  Gary was proud of the strong rapport and working relationship he had with both Governors Milliken and Blanchard and subsequently served in the Blanchard administration as Chief Deputy of the Department of Labor. Gary led Democrats in Michigan as Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party from 1991 to 1995.

Gary and his daughter Sally worked together professionally establishing Union Services Agency in 1996, an insurance agency now operating in 28 states.  He was exceptionally supportive of Susan in her career in state government and proud of her service in the administrations of Governors Granholm and Whitmer.  

He will be remembered by his grandsons as a surrogate father and their most loyal fan attending all of their exhibits and athletic events and supporting them in their college and professional careers.    

Gary Corbin was called to serve.  He was tough minded but had a tender heart and was a model for being open minded, inclusive, and accepting of all people.  

Gary is survived by his wife Sheila, daughters Susan Corbin and Sally Corbin, grandsons Lucas and Landon Lefler and Corbin Polec and their special friends Ken Gunther, Nic Burdekin, MacKenzie Chesley, and Elizabeth Kostreski.  He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Virgil LeRoss Corbin.  

A memorial will be held in Lansing, MI at a later date.  Memorial contributions can be made to the Michigan Democratic Party.  

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