May 14, 2013.
July 23, 2012From Janet Grimstead Simons.
Ashley Corbell, B-1847 in Popular Branch, NC. D-1914 in Popular
Branch. Son of Malachi Corbell and Nancy Midgett Owens. Married
Martha Doxey (B-1847 D-1875) in ?. Children: (1) John Wilson
B-5/19/1866 D-10/1/1942. (2) Tunis B-1868 D-1903. (3) Nancy Jane
B-1870 D-1937. (4) Debbie B. ? (5) William B-1877 D-1941
John Wilson married (1) ? and had two children. Meddie and
William. Married (2) Virginia Cordie Sawyer in 1898. She died
giving birth to Beulah Virginia Corbell
DeLon B-12/5/1898 D-7/19/1972. Married (3) Sadie Elizabeth
Etheridge daughter of Jerome Bonaparte
Etheridge. Children: (1) Blanch Virginia B-1901. (2) Issac
Issac Tunis married Sarah Lane in ?. Children: (1) Isaac Tunis
Jr. B-10/26/1923 Back Bay, Virginia Beach, VA D-2/28/2007 Garden
Grove, CA. (2) Florence and (3) Marjorie.
May 14, 2013. From Sondra Vonsyoc.
Florence, Tunis, Sarah
Margie, Tunis Jr.
July 23, 2012
Isaac Tunis Corbell Jr., born Oct. 26, 1923, in Back Bay,
Va., passed away peacefully at home in Garden Grove, Calif., Feb.
28, 2007. His family moved to Knotts Island while he was an infant
and that is where he always called home. World War II called him
away and he enlisted in the Navy. While in Washington, D.C., he
met his future wife. Tunis and Dina were married in 1946. They
moved to Raleigh, N.C., where Tunis attended North Carolina State
and he received a degree in electrical engineering, Class of 1950.
His following career in communications took him all over the world
and spanned 40 years. He was known as one of the pioneers in
world-wide microwave communication. He is survived by his loving
wife of 61 years, Bernardina; two sons, Isaac Corbell and his wife
Gina of Charlotte, N.C., and John Corbell of Garden Grove, Calif.;
his sister, Florence Flannigan and her husband Richard of Knotts
Island; four granddaughters, Jennifer Marks and her husband Jason,
Debra Corbell, Tiffany Corbell and Larina Corbell.
TUNIS CORBELL LETTER,
Dear Frank, I am taking this opportunity to thank you for the
beautiful service for my sister Margie. (Note: Service was May 22,
1998.) I was also overcome with emotion by the hospitality
displayed by the Church and the people of Knotts Island. The food,
refreshments and fellowship extended to me and our family plus
off-the-Island visiting friends is just unheard of most places in
these days of high tech and speeding from one thing to another. As I
have told people throughout the years, Knotts Island is a garden of
Eden which I hope does not get discovered too fully in my lifetime.
I especially enjoyed seeing people I had not seen in many years.
Some, such as Ruby Davis, since my childhood days.
To Pastor Frank Jennings. From the Methodist Church collection.
After I returned home I called Thelma Barton (Ewell) and found she
had already heard about my sister‘s death. News travels fast between
us Islanders. Thelma seems to be doing fine and her mother is as
well as can be expected. Thelma says her memory is fading and she
keeps asking for people in the past and she also wonders why she
cannot go home.
I have always loved the Methodist Church on Knotts Island. My father
was quite active at one time. He was on the board, head of the men's
bible class and he conducted a Sunday night service at the church
for young dating couples and any others who wished to attend. He
often involved me in making an offertory speech or scripture reading
when I was about 10 to 12 years old. On rainy days when we could not
work on the farm he used to go door to door to collect money for the
church and I would go with him. He covered the area from the
Signpost (foot of the Marsh Road) to the church along what is now
the main road, or Scuffling Town I think we used to call it in those
days. I remember joining the Men's Bible Class when I was about
thirteen and taking my turn at reading a verse of scripture as the
reading passed from one to another. My grandfather, John, was quite
active in the church and frequently offered the prayer at services,
as was the custom of those days. Other active prayer offerers I
remember were David Waterfield, Ferdinand Bonney and others that
with more effort I might bring to memory.
Just a word about me. I dropped out of Creeds High School in the
eighth grade and worked on our family farm for almost four years. I
left Knotts Island for a job with the Corps of Engineers survey
parties in Norfolk in 1940 (many Knotts Island people worked there
thanks to Harold Waterfield who was Chief Engineer of the Norfolk
District). In 1942 I joined the Navy and ended up spending almost 4
years working on breaking the German Enigma Code. This task was
quite a change for an eighth grade dropout farm boy, but I was
fortunate to be the only enlisted man with a group of Officer
college professors and 800 Waves. During these four years I learned
far more than the average high school education, especially about
electronics since the group I was in developed some of the first
computers to break the German code. I went to NC State, starting as
a special student and graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering
in 1950. I think I was the first Knotts Islander to graduate from
State which made me quite proud, especially since I graduated at or
near the top of my class of 1200. I started out with GE in their
training program and after 14 years there joined several different
Companies in steadily increasing responsibilities. For example I
started a Company, Video Microwave Inc. in Boston which we
eventually sold to Southern Pacific Railroad. That system is now
SPRINT- which I guess means I was one of the SPRINT founders. When I
joined, the present Sprint had only nine employees in San Francisco
and my company had nine, so we effectively doubled the size of the
company in one day. I left SPRINT in 1979 and joined Harris Corp (of
Melbourne Fla.) and ran one of their CA divisions specializing in
television until I retired in l987. Since then I returned to my
roots by becoming a full time gardener and a commercial fisherman on
a 50 foot trawler out of Half Moon Bay. We are still active on the
Pacific Ocean catching those large delicious dungeness crabs in the
winter and trolling for king salmon in the summer.
The best part of all about my Navy years is that I met Dina (from
Welch, WV) in Washington, and after a short courtship we were
married in the Naval Chapel. We have had 52 glorious years and hope
to have many more. She has surely been an equal partner in all my
successes and the loving mother of our two sons. She is now
mothering our four granddaughters.
Again Frank, I express my thanks for all you have done, and under
separate cover I am sending a gift to the church.
Sincerely Tunis and Dina Corbell
COMMENT - FRANK JENNINGS Pastor of Knott's Island United
Methodist "79-81" and "June 90 - Nov. 99"
Tunis had a captivating presence from the first time I met him.
He came from an era of time when you were told "you could" and "HE
DID". With little formal early education he still rose to
accomplish great things. Yet he was humble in his presentation.
His letter here is not braggadocios, but simply states the facts.
He is no doubt missed by the family. But the world has lost a mind
that was sharp (and not from book learning) but from simple
courage to go beyond oneself. I was fascinated with the man. From
his unique name Tunis to his wit and wisdom. I was humbled several
years later after this letter he wrote about his sister's funeral
to do his funeral. It was a severe rainy day yet many still came
to pay their respects to family and to him. That speaks well for a
native son of Knott's Island who moved away to the West coast long
many years before. Thank You, Tunis Corbell, I am a little better
for having known you.
Corbell Endows Scholarship in College of Engineering
September 26, 2001.
Mr. and Mrs. I. Tunis Corbell presented a gift of $168,557 to
establish the I. Tunis and Bernardina B. Corbell scholarship in the
College of Engineering at NC State University. The gift will fund
scholarships for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in
engineering, with first preference to students who had attended
Knotts Island Elementary School in Currituck County.
Corbell, a World War II veteran and 1950 electrical engineering
graduate of NC State, spent 34 years in the engineering field,
retiring in 1987 as vice president and manager of Harris California
Dean Nino A. Masnari said of the gift, “This commitment by the
Corbell family is an investment in tomorrow's leaders. The
scholarship will allow some of the brightest and most energetic
young people to attend NC State and will strengthen the university's
commitment to attracting top scholars to NC State