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Idaho onion grower Tom Corbet dies at age 66

Longtime onion grower Tom Corbet of Homedale, ID, died Oct. 4 of natural causes. He was 66.tomcorbet

Mr. Corbet leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Leslie Ann; daughter Lindsey (Josh Love); his son Jake Corbet (Suzy); and grandchildren Jace and Rylan Love and Hannah and Maddy Schelling and baby Brenden Schelling. He is also survived by his sister Lisa; father-in-law Philip E. Batt (Francee); brother-in-law Bill Batt (Cathy); sister-in-law Rebecca Batt; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents; brother Mike; mother-in-law Jacque; and brother-in-law and lifelong friend Rand Hart.

Mr. Corbet was born to Norm and Marie Corbet in Long Beach, CA, and “grew up on the beaches of California,” according to an online tribute. He graduated from El Dorado High School in 1970 and started college at the University of Idaho, intending to major in forestry. The family relocated to Donnelly, ID, and Mr. Corbet left college to work with his father in that town.

Prior to devoting his life and passion to farming, Mr. Corbet worked with Smith-Kangas surveying company and surveyed many areas of Idaho as well as Montana mining claims.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Corbet loved to ski, fish, camp and ride his motocross bike around McCall. In his spare time, he loved skiing, fishing, camping and riding his motocross bike in the hills of McCall.

Mr. Corbet met his future wife on Valentine’s Day 1978, and the couple eloped to Lake Tahoe, NV, on Aug. 20 of that year. To their union was born daughter Lindsey Nicole in June 1979 and son Jacob Thomas in March 1982. Both have described their father as a devoted family man who loved nothing more than time with his kids and grandkids.

Lindsey said of her father, “Family was everything. If you knew Tom, you knew his family.”

His introduction to farming came in 1981, the tribute read, when Mr. Corbet and his wife moved from Boise to Wilder “at the suggestion of Leslie’s dad, Phil. Phil wanted Tom to come out and farm for him. Tom didn’t plan on staying but soon learned he loved the ground, loved the process and talked with God while irrigating. He ended up staying for his lifetime and found his true passion in farming.”

The tribute said that from that time, “his children have many fond memories of walking the ditch bank with him, changing water or riding with him in the combine.”

A full obituary and tribute can be read here.

Funeral services are Friday, Oct.11 at 10 a.m. at Flahiff Funeral Chapel in Homedale, with graveside services in Wilder to follow. Condolences can be given at www.flahifffuneralchapel.com.