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Robert J. Corber, lawyer

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Sunday, March 6, 2011; 9:34 PM

Robert J. Corber, 84, a senior partner at the Washington law firm of Steptoe and Johnson who was head of the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1974 to 1976, died Jan. 25 at a hospice in Williamsburg. He had interstitial lung disease.

Mr. Corber joined Steptoe and Johnson in 1951 and practiced transportation law until retiring in 1996. He wrote a book about regulations in the transportation industry.

Long active in Republican Party politics, Mr. Corber served as the party's Virginia state chairman from 1964 to 1968. He managed then-Rep. Joel T. Broyhill's (R-Va.) successful reelection campaign in 1962. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate in the 1960s.

Mr. Corber volunteered for the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation and Meals on Wheels. He was a member of Mount Olivet United Methodist Church and the Washington Golf and Country Club, both in Arlington County, and the Metropolitan Club of Washington.

Robert Jack Corber was born in Topeka, Kan., and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1946. He graduated from Washburn University law school in Topeka in 1950.

During World War II, Mr. Corber was a flight test engineer for the Navy Reserve and was stationed in Patuxent River, Md.

He lived in Arlington from 1951 until moving to Williamsburg in 1996.

His first wife, Joan Tennel Corber, died in 1987 after 38 years of marriage.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Deborah Perkins Corkey-Corber of Williamsburg; four children from his first marriage, Janet C. Link of Roeland Park, Kan., Suzanne Corber and Robert J. Corber II, both of New York City, and Wesley S. Corber of Purcellville; a stepson, Christopher Corkey of Washington; a brother; a sister; and two grandchildren.

- Lauren Wiseman

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