May 29, 2013 Edition

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Corbett still independent
as he prepares to turn 100

A.G. Corbett is about to celebrate his 100th birthday. Corbett worked as a farmer all his life but now spends most of his time reading at his home in Walnut Ridge.

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge resident A.G. Corbett is about to celebrate his 100th birthday on June 13. Corbett has worked as a farmer all his life and still drives to the First Baptist Church service every Sunday he can.

Corbett was born and raised just outside of Black Rock. When he was 17 years old, he and his family moved to Walnut Ridge to work the farmland where Walmart now stands.

Corbett married his wife, Snoda, in September of 1937. They had wanted to wait until after the harvest to marry, but Corbett's father persuaded them to marry early and move in to help take care of Corbett's mother.

Due to the harvest, the Corbetts weren't able to celebrate their honeymoon till December of that year. They traveled to St. Louis where Snoda said they saw their first escalators.

The Corbetts also worked some farmland in Sedgwick until he retired at the age of 68. "I didn't retire when I was 65 because they just came out with air conditioned cabs on tractors and I couldn't leave," Corbett said.

Now Corbett spends most of his time reading, playing canasta with his wife and occasionally watching television. He and his wife live alone with caregiver Alleen Gates visiting them on weekday mornings.

"I think we can pretty well do what we need to do ourselves but our kids said we needed someone," Corbett said.

The Corbetts have five children, one daughter and four sons, all of whom live out of state except for son Ronny Corbett from Jonesboro. The Corbetts also have 10 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.

They are hoping that all the children will be able to celebrate Corbett's birthday together but said they might take turns visiting to be able to help around the house more.

Mark Harris, pastor at First Baptist Church of Walnut Ridge, said, "Mr. Corbett is a wonderful man. Yes, he still attends church faithfully. But he lives out his faith in more ways than simply attending church.

"Several years ago, my horse threw me, breaking my leg. As a result I was laid up at home for a while. Mr. Corbett called me to ask if it would be alright to come see me. I was delighted to have him visit and he brought me a gift. Just a reminder that they were thinking about me."

First Baptist Church will hold a birthday celebration in honor of Corbett on June 15 from 2-3:30 p.m. Friends and family are invited to attend, but Corbett wanted everyone to know that gifts are not necessary.

"Be sure to say no gifts," he said.

"We don't want any gifts," Snoda echoed.

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