Kathleen “Corby” Hebrink, age 81, of Avon Park, Florida was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin January 30th, 1940 to Joe and Mildred Corbett, and went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021. Corby proceeded to grow up in Redwood Falls, MN. She is survived by her sons, Tim (Kay) Hebrink - Scandia, MN, Dick Hebrink - North Branch, MN; grand-daughter, Michelle (Phil) Altamura; great-grandsons, Miles and Leo - Weston, MA; brothers, Joe Corbett – Palm Springs, CA, John Corbett – Chaska, MN, Pat (Tove) Corbett – White Bear Lake, MN.
Death is one of those things in life that almost certainly causes us all to think. It forces us to be introspective, to examine how we have lived. It forces us to consider our relationships, and what is truly important to us. Corby was a woman who loved life. Her family and friends were incredibly important to her. She had numerous friends in Florida and her church family at Our Lady of Grace Church. She was a Eucharistic Minister and very involved in the Women’s Guild. She cherished connecting with her grand-daughter Michelle, and having two great-grandchildren put a huge smile on her face. She remained close to her many friends in Minnesota, her Nursing classmates and people she encountered on her journey.
Once she graduated High School she attended St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, MN - St. Joseph’s Hospital School Of Nursing. She continued her profession as a Surgical Nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital advancing on to become the OR Head Nurse, then OR Supervisor/Director. She role modeled for others going back to Metropolitan State University in St. Paul to complete her Bachelors Degree. In 1983 she moved to Auburndale Wisconsin and worked as the Director of Nursing of the Operating Rooms in Marshfield Hospital for the next 10 years. She migrated and worked in Las Vegas, New Mexico for 4 years. She was mesmerized by the spiritual scenic views New Mexico had to offer. She briefly worked in El Paso, Texas and Columbia, South Carolina before settling in Avon Park, Florida and working before retiring. She spent much of her profession at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN and Marshfield, WI. After she semi-retired she enjoyed spending the summers in Upstate New York at Camp Anne as a Camp Nurse with developmentally disabled kids and young adults.
She was an active Surgical Registered Nurse for 43 years and mentored so many along the way. Corby was very cohesive in her profession. She was a devout Catholic, living a life of faith and spirituality emulating that with others. She was a true Servant-Leader displayed by her character and action. She continuously put others first, before herself. She followed in her Mother’s footsteps living a life guided by the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.
The pain of the loss is real, but so is the joy. Many of you have stories to tell of how Corby had an impact on your lives. For some it might have been in smaller ways, but for many it was in great ways as Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Registered Nurse, Mentor and Friend. While it is appropriate for us to grieve, and for that grief to take time to heal, it is also appropriate for us to draw on the good. We can draw on those memories, the ways we were impacted by a life lived to help us process our grief. We can look back on the times where Corby was a servant to others, caring for them, teaching them, listening, sharing advice, brightening and enriching their lives.
Sharing her bright smile and inner spirit. We can see in Corby’s Love, through her love for others, through her joy in finding her Creator. Her daily devotions. We can draw from that and find in it joy and opportunities to praise the Lord even in our loss. Corby is freed from her pain now, from her suffering body and is praising God in heaven above and rejoicing. She does not have to worry about everyone in her family now, she is praying for each one of you now. Corby would often end conversations with God Bless You, I Love You.
Corby lived life to the fullest, she was very adventurous, enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, hiking, as well as traveling across the US and abroad, going on many Pilgrimage trips to Medjugorje. She also visited Lourdes and the Holy Land. She completed her bucket list check off of being to all 50 states with her son Dick stepping onto Alaska in 2011 with a beaming smile. She enjoyed going up the North Shore with son Tim and visiting Lake Christine. Fishing with Tim up north and in Florida as well, in addition to the exciting wild boar hunt in FL. She visited many places in Canada and Mexico. Traveled to Australia, China and Africa. Even several places in Europe. A favorite pass-time was walking beaches and collecting shells. She played several sports in her younger years being a catalyst to playing and coaching softball and basketball. She both downhill skied and water skied. She was very adventurous going on Canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with family and friends. She kayaked and enjoyed Scuba Diving, a highlight was her dive in Belize. Joyful visits to Acapulco with Dick to see retired cousin – Billy. Periodically ventured back to visit Phillips, WI where she had many fond memories. Also, a memorable fall foliage trip out to the East Coast. While in Marshfield, WI, she participated in the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program there helping young girls. In St. Paul, she helped facilitate and sponsor Alateen Support Groups. Corby enjoyed hunting and fishing with family. She cherished going to the Renaissance Festival, attending pretty much year after year from the beginning. She was always up for a challenging game of Cribbage. In 2003 she carried her faith and health profession joining the Peace Corps and journeying to Malawi Central Africa serving the surrounding villages of Mlangeni for 26 months. Corby had an impact on so many lives and forged great long-lasting friendships.
She had fond memories of growing up in Redwood Falls, the park, the falls, the people. She kept in close contact with her Aunts and Uncles. She had a close spiritual bond with Auntie Agatha, and after Grandma passed, their bond forged even stronger. On this past Mother’s day one of the last things she wanted taken care of was a request to “say good-bye to Redwood for me”…
A wise man once said that the true test of what someone believes is how they live their life and how it impacts others. Corby unquestionably had a great impact on many lives, her family and friends. From this point, we all have the opportunity to choose how we are going to move forward, how we will choose to live our lives, so that, we too can make a difference as Corby made a difference.
Because of the significant life of Corby, we can look back on the days of her life with deep gratitude and fond memories. Because of the goodness of God through Christ, we can look forward to eternal life in the presence of God.
Corby’s life echoes the satisfaction that of a life well lived, leaving behind a wonderful family, friends and good memories. Now, Corby will find the special room Jesus has prepared for her.
There was a Funeral Mass held for Corby at Our Lady of Grace Church in Avon Park on June 5th, 2021. She cherished her friendships in Avon Park, FL.
Her Friends in Malawi Africa held a mass remembering Corby as well, on June 5th, 2021. Thank you, Maggie, Lucia and the Carmel Convent Nuns. The first time she visited Area 49 in Lilongwe she had the honor of naming a special place - which Mum declared CLARA WELLS GARDEN where she planted a special purple tree.
There will be a Visitation at Mattson’s Funeral Home on Tuesday June 29th, 2021 5pm to 8 pm 343 N Shore Dr. Forest Lake, MN 55025. There will be a Funeral Mass – Celebration of Life at St. Gregory The Great Catholic Church Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., 38725 Forest Blvd, North Branch, MN 55056.
Today, we celebrate the life of Corby Hebrink.