Official Obituary of

Horace "Ho" Russell Corbin, Jr.

September 22, 1944 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Horace "Ho" Corbin, Jr. Obituary

Horace R. Corbin, Jr., P.E.,

Former Westfield Leader/Times Publisher

Horace Russell "Ho" Corbin, Jr., 79, passed away with his family by his side on Monday, February 26, at Overlook Medical Center in Summit.

Born in Huntingdon, Pa. on September 22, 1944 at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, the son of a career military senior master sergeant, Horace, Sr. (North Africa, Sicily, Southern France, Liberation of France, Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge, and Occupation of Germany) and Eleanor (née Snyder) Corbin, after World War II, Ho and his siblings, Honey and Dave, grew up on various Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases around the country during the Cold War, primarily Spokane, Wash., and Bangor, Me. There they had opportunities to meet many people from various walks of life. He also had another sister, Lorraine, who passed away in 1972.

Ho's first actual job, while in elementary school, along with his brother, Dave, was delivering newspapers for The Huntingdon Daily News. "Ho" won a trip to New York to see a Yankee game by bringing in the most new subscribers. Always inventive with electronics, he made crystal radio sets and other devices with whatever materials available.

He also demonstrated a talent for entrepreneurship on several occasions; for instance, when he and his brother were Boy Scouts camping in the winter west of Bangor in Maine, he offered to cook the rest of the boys' potatoes for a dime per person.

With the recommendation of former Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott, Ho was a first alternate for the Air Force Academy but received a scholarship to attend Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. A 1968 graduate of Drexel Institute of Technology, where he earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, Ho also was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity (Beta Theta Chapter) and served as President of the student body in his senior year. During college, he worked in industry at DuPont.

Ho moved to New Jersey in 1968 and began working for N.J. Labs Research and Development in Linden. He subsequently worked for Graver Water in Union and for Infilco Degremont. In the mid 1980s he launched his own company, Water Control Associates. Having attained his P.E. in Water Technology, he ran projects in various locations around the world. For example, he worked on the largest copper mine in the world, in the Atacama Desert in Chile — the driest place on Earth — for which water had to be elevated 10,000 feet above sea level. Additionally, he worked on a project circa 1991 with the firm EBASCO at the former World Trade Center.

While still owner of Water Control Associates, Ho purchased The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times in 1996. Ho sold the newspapers and retired on March 5, 2020. During his tenure as publisher, Ho advanced the publications by bringing them online on December 31, 1996 as well as maintaining the print editions, and wrote computer programs that enhanced production. He imparted his knowledge to his staff and others, including visiting Cub Scout troops, who he would simultaneously educate and entertain with lessons about the newspaper business, including humorous Photoshop demonstrations.

He married Gail Miller in Westfield on August 23, 1977, and their son, Benjamin Blair, was born June 15, 1978. They lived on Mountain Avenue in Westfield for many years prior to divorcing.

A chess champion in high school, Ho also was president of the Rambling Canoe Club (RCC). For 25 years, he and his members, which could amount to as many as 50 friends, went camping at private-permitted spots north of the Delaware Water Gap nearly every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.

Ho enjoyed golfing and was a member of Canoe Brook Country Club in Short Hills/Summit for 38 years. He enjoyed his Labrador Retrievers, Bogey and Divot.

Ho enjoyed watching and commenting on televised sporting events, especially college and pro football, with a leaning toward Penn State and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ho also enjoyed watching old westerns He liked spirited conversations, a good joke, history, friendly card games and meals at favorite local restaurants. As a bit of further humor, Ho used to boast that his Drexel football team hadn't lost a game in decades — because they dropped the program.

He is survived by his son, Benjamin; daughter-in-law, Lauren (née Gruman); grandchildren, Brooke Corbin and Jake Corbin, along with his sister, Eleanor (Honey) Corbin; brother, Dave Corbin; in-laws, Jeffrey and Karen Gruman and their family; several cousins and many friends.

The visitation will take place on Wednesday, March 6, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, N.J.

Contributions in memory of Horace R. Corbin may be made to the, Burn Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Foundation, 95 Old Short Hills Road, West Orange, N.J. 07052; (973) 322-4330.

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March 6, 2024

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home
582 Springfield Ave.
Westfield, NJ 07090


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