James Dennis Corbin

Thursday, July 28, 2022
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James Dennis Corbin passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family, on July 26 in Billings, MT. He was 73 years old. Dennis was a brilliant attorney, an adoring husband, a beloved father, and an incredible grandfather. He will be remembered as an advocate for those needing a helping hand, a coach, a golf buddy, a mentor, a man who enjoyed life and was always ready to have a good time. He will be missed by all who knew his quick wit, his laugh, and his easy smile.

An only child, Dennis was born in Worchester, MA in 1949 to Mary Hoepfner Corbin and Francis (Jody) Corbin. Dennis was raised in Alexandria, VA. In high school, he was proud to have been on the infamous TC Titans football team. In the summer months, he spent time in Montana exploring the wilds of Potosi and Pony. His tales of runaway Jeeps, wild bears, and rabble-rousing were often shared with his family. In the fall of 1968, he enrolled at Montana State University, where both of his parents were alumni; his heart has always been in Montana.

Pledging Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity proved to be his best decision as it was not long after, during a dinner in the dining hall, that he met the love of his life and future wife, Arlene Kegel, who was also attending MSU and happened to be a Miles City native.

Arlene and Dennis were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Miles City. After the wedding, they enrolled at the University of Montana. Their first child Damian was born in Missoula. Together, he and Arlene graduated in 1972. They were the first married couple to graduate together in the school of Letters and Sciences.

Upon graduation, Dennis attended Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, WA. While here, he and Arlene welcomed son Casey and daughter Ashlie Sarah. He was a brilliant scholar and scored the highest of all his classmates on the bar exam. They moved to Miles City shortly after graduation, where son Currie was born.

Dennis had an exemplary career as a lawyer in Miles City, where he practiced for 37 years. He served as the Custer County Deputy County Attorney, then later specialized in family law and criminal law. Clients would rush to secure his services when in need, and Dennis never turned clients away if they were unable to pay. A wizard with words, he was a charismatic and poetic defender in the court room, and his record was exemplary. He was a proud member of both the Montana State and the Washington State Bar Associations.

Generous with his time and heart, Dennis belonged to many service organizations in Miles City. He was a member of Jaycees where he was asked to be the chairman of the Bucking Horse Sale. He was also the President of the Kiwanis and the Exalted Ruler at the Elks Lodge. He gave his time to the Secret Santa program and would take local children shopping for new clothes and presents for their families. Dennis started the first Little Guy Football league and served as a coach for many years. He was the founder of Splash, Inc. He was also a board member of CASA and was very involved in the First Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder and a Deacon.

A true gentleman through and through, Dennis had a beautiful end to a beautiful life. Dennis is survived by his wife of 53 years, Arlene, and his four children: Dr. Damian Jenkins (Shawn), Casey Corbin (Hilary), Ashlie Sarah Slunaker (Brian), and Currie Corbin (Wendy), and his grandchildren Corbin, Jack, and Samuel Jenkins, Scott and J. Dennis Corbin, and Josephine, Arthur, and Alexander Corbin. He is proceeded in death by his mother and father.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 30 at 2 o’clock at the First Presbyterian Church in Miles City. In Dennis’s honor, memorials can be made to the First Presbyterian Church Children’s Ministries (1401 Main St. Miles City, MT 59301) or a charity of your choice.

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