Ingeborg Johanna Corbett

May 6, 1925July 10, 2017
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Ingeborg Johanna Ernst was born May 6, 1925 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Her parents were Anna Grossmann Ernst and Werner Ernst. She grew up with 2 brothers and 2 sisters: Richard, Reinhardt, Gertrude and Cristal. They lived most of the time in Mexico City, but before WWII they lived in Germany for a period. While she was growing up Inge enjoyed sewing, painting, being outdoors, cliff diving, and swimming. In school she enjoyed math. But she was really passionate about her swimming. She swam on the Mexican National Team and participated in the Pan-Am games, winning two events. She considered her father an excellent role model since he was such a hard worker. Ingeborg dreamed of becoming a nurse.

After completing “high school” she went to the University of Mexico in Mexico City and completed her nursing degree. She then left home for the U.S. to do graduate work in nursing in Washington DC. She met the young Dr. James B. Corbett while protecting a patient from the more eager than experienced new doctor. He began to follow her around, then was surprised into proposing when she received an offer to go to Mexico and South America starting nursing schools – or did she propose?

They were married on February 23, 1952. That started a rich life together. When Jim finished his training they moved to Champaign Illinois. Inge continued her nursing career until the children started arriving. Their first child, Brendan was born 12/52. He died of SIDS 2 months later. Kevin arrived 9/54. The young family was uprooted and moved to Ft. Knox, Kentucky so that James could take his place as a captain in the army. Kathleen (Kit) was born there. The family moved back to Champaign when Jim’s tour was up. Three more children arrived there: Helen 3/58, Michael 2/62 and Carmel 10/64. Although 5 children would seem like enough to keep anyone busy, Inge found many other ways to keep busy. She still sewed, knitted, played cards, and was very involved with Holy Cross School. She helped with cub scouts, including the time when there was a tornado and she had to get the bouncing boys into the basement. Inge helped with girl scouts as well and was revered for her ability to scare anyone with her ghost stories. Family trips included Inge singing and telling stories; Siegfried and Beowulf were part of the story repertoire.

Adventures were found almost anywhere, partly because of Inge’s fertile imagination. As the kids grew up, Inge tried her hand at other things: quilting, car mechanics and being the school nurse at the junior college. Jim and Inge had 2 of their grandchildren live with them briefly. They both enjoyed their grandchildren. Kevin and Diane provided Jimmy and Russell. Kevin’s second marriage to Joanna Zimmerman added Kelly, Sharon and Amy and the only great grandchild, Liam. Helen and Steve Ebers introduced Brendan and Johanna. Michael and Catherine had Peter and Christian who Michael’s second wife Sandi took under her wing. Carmel and Charles Wellso produced Lucy and Naomi. After Jim retired, they gardened together. Inge was in charge of vegetables, Jim was in charge of flowers. They moved into senior living and enjoyed seeing old friends. Inge had a couple of strokes before she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. One advantage of it was that she kept her personality. She kept her beautiful smile until the day she died. She had two pieces of advice to share. For people in general “work hard, be honest, know God.” For her family “Stay together.”


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, August 11, 2017
  • Memorial Mass Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ingeborg Johanna Corbett

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Pearse Corbett

August 12, 2017

Our thoughts are with inge and Brendan's children and their families as she is laid to rest. We so enjoyed their hospitality in Champaign and their visits with us in Dublin. Their interests in people and nature, living their Christianity and discussing all sorts of topics were a tonic. Ar deis D

Julia Schneider

August 9, 2017

Inge was a wonderful woman. I knew her (and Jim) as a child because Jim was my pediatrician, and we went to Holy Cross, and my parents played bridge regularly with them. But when I moved back to Champaign in the mid-90s and saw them at daily Mass and other events, I really got to know Inge and see what a wonderful woman she was who was committed to serving God in many ways, who loved her family so much, and who brought light to those who knew her. May she rest in the peace of Christ, there together with her beloved husband and deceased family members. She will be in my prayers, as will her living family members.

Conor O'Reilly

July 22, 2017

We have found memories of Inge and Brendan's hospitality when we moved to Illinois and of later celebrating with them, Helen, Steve and family in New Hampshire. May perpetual light shine upon her and may she rest in peace. Conor and Claire

Kimberly Lange

July 21, 2017

So grateful to both Inge and Jim for their involvement with us crazy college kids! Their home in Champaign was a haven of peace, wisdom, love and support. Inge's stories were always uplifting and you always left feeling loved and cared for. So grateful for their lives and the love of Christ that they shared so freely. Happy they are saints in Heaven watching over us now!!

July 20, 2017

God bless your sweet mom now that she is in His complete care, and may he bless all of you in your loss. Sending my condolences and my prayers for all of you. Erin and Mark Nieves

Linda Maloney

July 17, 2017

My thoughts and prayers are with the Corbett family. She will always be in your hearts.
Linda Maloney