Albert Davis Corbin, who was born to a farming family and became one of the state’s most respected civil engineers as a partner in Molzen Corbin & Associates, died Saturday at home in Albuquerque. He was 90.
Visitors to the state see Corbin’s signature every time they land – he’s behind the runways, taxiways and other infrastructure at several airports, including the Albuquerque International Sunport.
He loved airport projects, said his former partner Dayton Molzen, and he had a talent for highways and roads.
“He was very capable, and a good manager,” Molzen said. “He was just an all-around great person. He was honest and trustworthy; he would go the extra mile for a friend or member of his family.”
Born in Anthony, Corbin spent much of his early life moving around the southern part of the state, said his daughter Kathy Corbin. He was raised mostly by his brothers, and moved to Albuquerque during the Great Depression.
Corbin graduated class president of Saint Mary’s High School in 1940, then served in the Marines and Naval Reserves in the South Pacific during World War II.
In 1950, he graduated from the University of New Mexico, where he met lifelong friend James Rightly, who said Corbin was instantly easy to get along with.
Corbin married Helen Marie Leasure in 1958, and the pair had three daughters before her death in 1977. In 1984 he married Alene Lake.
As a father, Corbin taught his daughters how to pray, play baseball and, eventually, how to drive and change a tire. “He wanted us to be independent,” Kathy Corbin said. His life was an inspiration to his daughters, she said.
Corbin’s hobbies included hunting, road trips and reading, especially Westerns by Louis L’Amour, Kathy Corbin said. “He had a whole set of those he knew by heart.”
He is survived by his daughters, Kathy Corbin, Ellen Paz and Carol Kuykendall, and their families.
A rosary will be said for Corbin at 7 p.m. Thursday, followed by a funeral Mass 10:30 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 619 Copper NW.