John Edward-Corbett, the sweetest, funniest guy in the world, passed away on March 13, 2023. He was 39.
From his birth in Newport Hospital, John displayed a precocious flair for amusing his family. As young children, his sisters’ constant goal was to catch their parents in a serious conversation and get John to perform The Bumbler-a silent, Mr. Bean-style tour de force that never failed to send everyone into tears of laughter. The smartest and kindest of his siblings, John loved to play sports, collect Nikes, and watch classic action flicks. He attended Middletown High School, then Babson College, where he studied marketing and enjoyed the campus’s proximity to Celtics and Red Sox games.
After graduating, John shifted his interest to photography. He worked with his father, John W. Corbett, who taught him everything he knew and delighted in having such a brilliant buddy to share his vocation. As the official photographers for the Preservation Society of Newport County, they photographed all of the Society’s wonderful events, as well as portraits and corporate events. John branched out and became a photographer for DXL, where he relished collaborating with a larger team in the studio and on location, and developed a close bond with his second mentor, Ross Anderson. John loved to pick up new skills, and in recent years, he was happy to meet the challenge of video photography, along with stills. In his free time, he liked to film comedic shorts with his friends.
Over the course of a 2019 trip around the world, John matured as an artist, honing in on the patterns and textures he saw around him in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, and Ireland. John also enjoyed regular trips to Nashville, where he photographed local blues musicians. In 2022, he spent two months driving his Road Warrior across the country with his friend Mikey Sullivan, savoring the landscapes of the Midwest.
An avid guitarist who played in a band called Whiskey Business, John was a connoisseur of classic rock and blues. His favorites included the Rolling Stones, the Black Crowes, Guns n’ Roses, Metallica, and Willie Nelson. John was analytical about the songs he liked most, and knowledgeable about behind-the-scenes lore; it was so much fun to drive around with him with the radio on, chatting about whatever was playing.
John loved to help other people. When his beloved sister Amelia was battling cancer, he devoted himself to caring for her, organizing a trip for her and all their friends to Florida. Later, he enjoyed finding ways to enrich his parents’ lives, taking his dad on field trips to Maine, and cooking and watching Celtics games with his mom.
If only we could spend forever with John, skipping rocks and listening to the Stones! John is predeceased by his sister, Amelia Edward-Corbett; his uncle, David Steele; and his grandparents, Robert and Catherine Edward, and Jack and Grace Corbett. He is survived by his mother, Susan Edward; his father, John W. Corbett; his sister, Sara Edward-Corbett, and her partner, Patrick Smith; his aunts, Jane Steele and Susan Stevenson; and countless friends who love him as a brother. We all miss him so much!
A memorial mass for John will be held at 10am on Saturday, June 24, at St. Lucy’s Church on West Main Road. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society https://www.lls.org/.
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