North Brunswick community mourns passing of longtime councilman

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of the story that was published last week. 

 

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Flags are flying at half staff in North Brunswick to honor the passing of Township Councilman Robert H. Corbin.

“With great sadness we must announce the passing of Councilman Bob Corbin,” municipal officials said in a statement they released on March 16. “Bob was much more than a councilman for our township, he was a friend to us all.

“Whether as a prosecutor, lawyer, neighbor or friend, Bob was one of the most respected people in Middlesex County. His quick wit and willingness to always lend advice or a friendly word brought him close to everyone who knew him. Bob will be sorely missed,” officials said.

Born in Trenton, Corbin was raised in Ewing Township and lived there before moving to North Brunswick 40 years ago. He received his bachelor’s degree from Rider University in 1966 and his juris doctorate from Dickinson School of Law in 1969. He practiced as a criminal attorney for the past 50 years, both as a defense attorney in private practice and as 1st assistant prosecutor for Middlesex County.

He was a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Middlesex County Bar Association and the New Brunswick Bar Association, according to his obituary from Selover Funeral Home in North Brunswick.

Aside from serving on the North Brunswick Township Council for the past 18 years until his recent illness, he was a coach for North Brunswick Township youth soccer, baseball and basketball programs. He was a member of B.P.O. Elks Lodge 324 in New Brunswick and Sons of the American Legion, Joyce Kilmer Post 25 in Milltown.

He passed away on March 15 at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, surrounded by his family. He was 75.

During the March 16 Township Council meeting, Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said, “Tonight is a sad meeting of the North Brunswick Township Council. A very sad event has occurred during the course of this week.”

Councilman Bob Davis, who spoke via telephone due to limitations imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, said, “We lost a great friend and a great councilman in Bob Corbin. We could always count on Bob to lead us down the right path … to make sure things were done properly.”

“As an attorney, he offered many insights on lots of legal matters,” Council President Ralph Andrews said.

Corbin was serving his sixth term on the council and his current term was scheduled to end this year. He lived in North Brunswick for 37 years.

Corbin served as a municipal prosecutor and as a Middlesex County assistant prosecutor, with the last position being first assistant prosecutor for Middlesex County from 1992-98.

He received his Bachelor of Science in commerce from Rider College (now Rider University) and his Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law, according to information provided by the township.

His wife, Connie, served as a member of the North Brunswick Township Schools Board of Education for 18 years. The couple have four children.

Davis said he met Corbin 18 years ago when they were screened as potential candidates for the Township Council. The two became running mates and sat side by side on the dais ever since.

“If you got to know him, you get to count yourself lucky,” Davis said.

Andrews added to Davis’s statement of Corbin being a “wonderful family man,” recounting how his family would travel all over the country with Corbin, his wife Connie and their son Michael to soccer tournaments since Michael was 12 years old.

“It was a great family as a team and I know everybody loved the Corbins and everybody loved Bob,” Andrews said.

A moment of silence was held for Corbin during the council meeting. Womack said the township will post Corbin’s obituary and arrangements at www.northbrunswicknj.gov as soon as they become available.

Corbin’s passing was not related to coronavirus, according to municipal officials.

Because Corbin was a Democrat, the local Democratic Party will provide the names of three candidates to succeed him within 15 days of the vacancy to members of the governing body. Council members then have 15 days to select one of those individuals to fill the vacant seat.

Since Corbin’s term expires on Dec. 31, there will be no special election and the person chosen will serve out the remaining 9 months of his term, said Richard Zangara, chairman of the Democratic Party.

“It is with great sadness that the North Brunswick Democratic Organization mourns the passing of Councilman Robert Corbin,” Zangara said. “Councilman Corbin has served North Brunswick, Middlesex County and the State of New Jersey in multiple professional and personal capacities with distinction and has contributed greatly toward not only making our community stronger, but also to making our citizens lives better. As both a prosecutor and as a defense attorney, Bob Corbin’s commitment to equal justice under the law was well known throughout the state. As a North Brunswick councilman, Bob’s work toward keeping our township affordable and to providing the services necessary to maintaining our high quality of life will continue to positively impact our residents for years to come. Bob will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to his wife Connie and the rest of the Corbin family at this very difficult time.”

 

Corbin was predeceased by his father Harry N. Corbin. Surviving are his wife Connie (Fareri) Corbin; two daughters – Tracy Naimo and her husband Charlie of Brielle and Ashley Bazydlo and her husband Bryan of Milltown; two sons – Robert Corbin and his wife Jenna of Brooklyn, and Michael Corbin of Montclair; his mother Janet (Gill) Corbin of North Brunswick; and four grandchildren – Brielle Rose and Layna Belle Bazydlo and Tenley Jo and Corbin Jax Naimo.

Private cremation was under the direction of Selover Funeral Home. The family has decided to have a memorial service, to be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions in memory of Robert H. Corbin may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering toward lymphoma research at MSK, P.O. Box 5028, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5028 or online at giving.mskcc.org by using the honor a loved one link.

 

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.