Helping veterans keeps Betty Corbin busy

Betty Corbin, whose late husband, Walter, served in the armed forces, is a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186, Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582 and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 4372.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Betty Corbin, whose late husband, Walter, served in the armed forces, is a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186, Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582 and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 4372.

How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?

I've lived in Hernando County for eight years now. I was born and raised in Malone, N.Y. I was about 20 years old when I moved to Holland, Mass., and lived there for 20 years. During this time, I married Walter Corbin and started a family.

When we retired, Walter wanted to move to Lake City, and I wanted to move to Brooksville. He won out, and we moved to Lake City, where we lived for four years. After he passed away in October 1999, I moved to Brooksville.

Who are the members of your family?

My husband, Walter, and I were married for 241/2 years. He served in the Army and Air Force, which I'm sure is why I'm so passionate about helping veterans.

We had five children — Edward, Bruce, Mary, Lee and Scott — and have eight grandchildren. I was the youngest of six children. Both of my sisters have since passed, as well as two of my brothers. My one remaining sibling, Richard Berry, lives in Ocala during the winter and in New York from May to October.

Tell us about your career.

I spent 22 years working for American Optical in Southbridge, Mass., a plastic-molding plant making lenses for eyeglasses. Before retiring, I was put in charge of machine setup, making sure the molds were installed correctly into the machines. I also had to set up the parameters to run each of the jobs.

What kinds of activities are you involved in now?

I belong to a fun bowling league made up of members of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 186 and VFW Post 10209. We bowl at Spring Hill Lanes about every other Sunday, and sometimes us girls get together and bowl just for the fun of it.

Recently, our team participated in two local events: the Hernando Sheriff's Youth Education Bowl-A-Thon and the Arc Nature Coast Bowl-A-Thon.

I play bingo every Thursday at the Brooksville Healthcare Center with the residents. And on Tuesday nights, I manage the bar games at the American Legion.

I'm a member of Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582 on Cortez Boulevard, where they do such a good job serving the needs of veterans and the community. I'm a member and the vice president of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Weeki Wachee Aerie 4372, and I'm also a member and the treasurer of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186.

For down time, I play pinochle each Wednesday with friends. We start early and take a break for lunch. We usually spend about six hours joking around, laughing and just plain having fun. No cell phone calls allowed.

Do you have any special hobbies?

I've always enjoyed painting. I started taking classes about 10 years ago. When we lived in Lake City, I took classes from an instructor in Gainesville. We are painting in the Bob Ross style, and I have a whole book of my works.

Since moving to Brooksville, I only get to about three classes a year, as the trip to Lake City got to be too much. My neighbor and I now go to Floral City for classes. The instructor puts on classes when she can.

I've donated some of my paintings for charity and, of course, have given many to friends and family.

What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?

I love where I live and my marvelous neighbors. I also like the idea that one of my children and his family live about 4 miles from me, so I get to see his family often. Basically, family and friends are what I love most about Hernando County.

What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?

I really think frontage roads are needed all along Cortez Boulevard, connecting the businesses off the beaten path. Traffic is bad and, with all of the turning lanes, there is a lot of start-and-stop traffic going the length of it.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

I am a quiet person by nature. I think I sometimes let people take advantage of me because I don't speak up. But when I know I'm right, look out, because then I will stand up for myself.

Helping veterans keeps Betty Corbin busy 10/18/08 [Last modified: Saturday, October 18, 2008 4:32am]

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