WESTBROOK — The small staff at ASG Risk Management Inc. in Portland gathered early Monday to hear the news they had been dreading for months.

Mary Corbin, a claims manager for ASG for the past seven years, died on Sunday at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough. She was 55.

“It was a crying fest,” said Susan Graffam, executive vice president of the company. “We’re all very close. We’re like family. You couldn’t ask for a better employee. This will leave a huge whole in our hearts.”

Mrs. Corbin began her career in the insurance industry in 1985 with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine, now Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. She worked for other insurance companies such as NYLCare Health Plans of New England and Aetna Inc.

She joined ASG in 2004 and oversaw all claims administration and functions. She was one of 12 employees.

Graffam said on Monday that she was a dedicated worker and was respected in the company.

“She was a leader,” Graffam said. “She was so loved by everyone. She had the best giving nature.”

She was married to John Corbin of Westbrook for 36 years. She also leaves a son, Joshua Corbin, of Portland.

Mrs. Corbin was remembered by her family on Monday as a strong and compassionate woman, who had a funny and sarcastic sense of humor. Her husband struggled Monday to understand how a woman who had so much to give could died so young.

“I can’t make sense of this,” he said. “I’m really angry. I feel bad that she had so much to offer and doesn’t have the opportunity to continue. She did quite a bit in her short life. I can’t imagine what she could have done if she had another 25 to 30 years.”

Mrs. Corbin had a passion for education and went back to college in her 40s. She received her associate degree in accounting from Andover College and her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Husson. She then received a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Southern Maine. As a student, she maintained a 4.0 grade point average and worked full time.

For a couple of years, she taught at USM.

Her son said in an email that she was an awesome mother and teacher who taught him a lot about life. He said she supported his interests in college and supported his decision to drop out. He works for the Portland Fire Department.

“She could do anything and (helped) people realize they could do anything,” her son said. “She was an amazing person and my own personal superhero.”

At the end, she taught her family, colleagues and closest friends about living with grace and courage while fighting for her life.

She was diagnosed with throat cancer in February of 2008. She was cancer-free for eight or nine months before the cancer returned in November. She worked at the insurance company until recently and gave up teaching about a year ago after doctors removed part of her vocal chords. In recent months, she used a notebook to communicate.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]