GRAND ISLE, Maine — The founder of the Mizpah retreat in Grand Isle, Richard Corbin, passed away Saturday, Dec. 12, at the age of 71.
Mizpah was created in 1991, and offers a place of solitude and peace for cancer victims and other individuals stricken with grief.
“It’s a promise I made to [God] to build a place where people can go, a place to relax, to enjoy, especially for the sick of body or mind,” Corbin told Bangor Daily News reporter Beurmond Banville in 2006.
In 1969, at the age of 22, Corbin was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s disease and was expected to survive less than a year.
“I’ve been living on borrowed time, and I wanted to help others with life’s problems,” Corbin told Banville. “I am building this for the future. I needed something to make sure it continues, even when I’m gone.”
Approximately 5,000 guests visit the 109-acre Mizpah retreat yearly, according to the center’s webpage. Corbin’s brother, Roger, said the group has been fortunate to have so much volunteer support and donations for its many projects and buildings.
Mizpah Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a board of directors in place to guide its existence into the future. The facility is open to the general public at no charge and golf carts are available for those who need them to explore the many wooded trails.
Funeral services for Corbin will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, at St. David Catholic Church. Calling hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, at Lajoie Funeral Home in Madawaska, and will be offered again from 8:30 a.m. until the time of service Wednesday.
A celebration of life also will be held this summer at Mizpah, with the time and date to be announced later. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Corbin’s memory may be made to Mizpah, P.O. Box 216, Grand Isle, ME 04746.