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Obituary: Mary Colbeth Korff

Mary Colbeth Korff, 89, died peacefully on Nov. 29, 2009 at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury in Irvington, VA. She was born and raised in Buzzards Bay, MA, daughter of Captain Harold L. Colbeth and Myna Pearl Proctor Colbeth, both descended from long lines of seafaring folk from Machiaport, ME. She was the youngest of three children and predeceased by her brother Harold L. Colbeth Jr. of Delmar NY and Ruth Colbeth Studley of Falmouth MA.

Mrs. Korff earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City where she met her husband of 62 years, Fred H. Korff Jr. Following naval service in WWII, the Korffs settled in Garden City, where they raised two children. When the children finished elementary school, Mrs. Korff returned to the workforce as a caseworker for the Nassau County Department of Social Services. On a fellowship, she earned a MSW degree from Adelphi University, and in 1975, she retired from the department as director of certification. Avid boaters, the Korffs retired to Pine Knoll Shores on the coast of North Carolina where she was an active member of the community and the first woman to be elected president of the local association. She was a surf fisher, tennis player and accomplished bridge player.

In 1996, the Korffs moved to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, which is a continuing care community. Mr. Korff died there in 2003. Mrs. Korff was an active resident and committee chairperson there until health issues forced her to curtail the activities she so dearly loved. She was a popular resident, gracious with a quick wit and cheerful greeting for everyone. Mrs. Korff is survived by son David F. Korff of Beaumont, CA and daughter Susan C. Hammer of Woodford, VA. A memorial service was held at RW-C on Dec. 2. Donations may be made in her memory to the RW-C Fellowship Fund or any charity of choice.