Robert P. Corbett passed away peacefully on March 31, 2018 at the Village House, John Knox Village Care Center, Lee’s Summit, Mo. He was 100 years, nine months and seven days of age, or as he liked to say, in his 101st year. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 6 at 3:00 in the Chapel at John Knox Village, 451 NW Murray Rd., Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Son of Robert and Mary Corbett, brother of Paul Corbett and Jane Corbett Hunt, husband of Mary Alice Clifton Corbett, who have all predeceased him, Bob liked people. He was happiest when he was working on a project, either with others or for the benefit of other people. Whether it was planting his rose garden, managing the Wornall Bank (now UMB), serving with the Westport Historical Society, Park University Board of Trustees, or hosting his 100th birthday party for more than 150 friends, Bob enjoyed the challenge and the process.
He wanted Maya Angelou’s quote to be his final message: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Bob loved a good joke. He could tell jokes in ways that always made people laugh. Subtlety was the key, he would advise, with a raised eyebrow and twinkle in his eyes. And the lesson learned would be easier to hear through those jokes.
Bob graduated from Park College (now Park University) in 1938 with a B.A. Degree in English. However, after taking a summer job at City National Bank (now UMB Bank) he chose to focus his career on banking. As in all things, he approached his job with passion and commitment. He took night courses in banking to learn the profession. His career was interrupted when World War II began. He served in the U.S. Army Finance Office of the 86th Infantry Division in the European and Pacific Theatres during that time. After the war ended he returned to the bank to continue his career.
In 1957 he became a founding director and chief executive officer of the Wornall Bank in south Kansas City (UMB). Bob retired as Chairman Emeritus in 1987 and continued to serve as an advisory director of the South Region until 2004.
Bob was active in Community and Civic affairs, with leadership roles in the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Waldo Business Association, Research Medical Center, Association of Community Councils, Westport Historical Society and the American Institute of Banking. He was a former chair of the Management Committee, Missouri Bankers Association. He conceived and implemented a wireless alert system for protection against bank fraud managed by the Kansas City Clearing House Association. He was a member of the Park University Board of Trustees from which he retired as Chair in 1990 and continued to serve as an honorary member until his death.
Bob was a Life Elder in the South Broadland Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Mo.; a former Trustee of the Presbyterian Foundation, Charlotte, N.C.; a former Moderator of the Heartland Presbytery and retired as its Treasurer in December 1997.
Bob and the love of his life, Mary Alice, were married for 72 years. He is survived by his son, Robert Corbett and his daughter Marcia Corbett, sister-in-law Patricia Corbett, along with many nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews whom he adored. The family is grateful for the kind and dedicated staff at John Knox Village. He and Mary Alice lived in Independent Living for 16 years. Valley View Assisted Living was Bob’s home for almost seven years, and the extended family he grew to love there treated him like a king. Thank you for loving him so well.