Jack Elliott Corbett, 82, a United Methodist clergyman and social ethicist who retired in 1996 as vice president of the Pax World Fund, died March 18 at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.
In 1971, Dr. Corbett helped found Pax World Fund, which invested in life-supportive goods and services, such as health, education, housing, food and non-nuclear utilities. It avoided investments in defense and weapons-related products, alcohol, tobacco and gambling. Dr. Corbett served as vice president until he retired.
Dr. Corbett, a resident of Bethesda, was born in Oak Park, Ill. He graduated from Temple University and Crozer Theological Seminary. He received a doctorate in ethics and international relations at American University. During World War II, he did civilian service, fighting forest fires in Oregon, caring for violent mental patients in a Philadelphia hospital and volunteering for an infectious hepatitis study for the Army Medical Corps.
In the 1950s, he was pastor of Methodist churches in Illinois. He came to the Washington area in 1961 to work for the United Methodist Church's General Board of Church and Society and its predecessor organization. In this role, he organized church seminars on issues related to disarmament, the United Nations and international treaties. Later, he worked in a coalition of Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, labor and women's organizations on legislation in such areas as civil rights, gun control, race relations, public housing, health and welfare reform.
He helped organize and served on the board of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Dr. Corbett was author of five books, the best known of which was "The Prophets on Main Street."
He served on the outreach and finance committees of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, where he also was co-coordinator of the Seekers Class.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Sarah Anne Rapp Corbett of Bethesda; three children, Kathleen Corbett of Washington, Marjorie Hudson of Pittsboro, N.C., and Stephen Corbett of Kensington; a sister; and four grandchildren.