Joseph Nunzio Corbi, 91, founded pizza crust firm...

March 31, 2001

Joseph Nunzio Corbi, 91, founded pizza crust firm

Joseph Nunzio Corbi, founder and president of the Baltimore Pizza Crust Co., died Tuesday of a heart attack at Howard County General Hospital. He was 91.

Mr. Corbi, a longtime Ellicott City resident, established the Baltimore Pizza Crust Co. in the early 1950s and continued in the business until retiring in 1981.

Mr. Corbi's son, Joseph V. Corbi - who founded Joe Corbi's Wholesale Pizza in 1983 and whose name and pizza kits are synonymous with Baltimore area fund-raising efforts - died in 1999.

The elder Mr. Corbi was born in Dedham, Mass., the son of Italian immigrants, and was raised in the Westport section of Baltimore.

Mr. Corbi attended City College, where he played baseball, football and basketball until transferring on a full scholarship to Calvert Hall College, where he played baseball. He graduated in 1929.

An outstanding pitcher, he played in the early 1930s for the Cumberland Colts, a New York Yankees farm team, until an accident ended his career. He was a member of the Old-Timers Baseball Hall of Fame.

He was married in 1932 to Josephine Chiofalo, who survives him.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.

Other survivors include two daughters, Frances A. Violi of Pittsburgh and Joan O. Bell of Ellicott City; a sister, Agnes Kelly of Baltimore; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Benjamin I. Coombs Sr., 78, foundry worker

Benjamin Ignatius Coombs Sr., a retired foundry worker, died of undetermined causes March 24 at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 78 and lived in Edmondson Village.

He retired about 15 years ago from the Flynn and Emrich foundry, where he was a laborer. He earlier had been a truck driver for the federal government.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Harlem Avenue, he was a graduate of St. Peter Claver Parochial School. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1945.

He was a 30-year member of the Gladiators Inc., a social club for black men. He worked to raise money for scholarships and did community outreach with the club.

In the 1940s, he married the former Dorothy Thompson. That marriage ended in divorce, as did a second marriage to the former Margaret Taylor.

Services will be held at noon Monday at Estep Brothers, 1300 Eutaw Place.

He is survived by three sons, Lorian Coombs, Benjamin Coombs and Kenneth Coombs, all of Baltimore; a daughter, Pauletta Alexander of Baltimore; a brother, James Gussie Manning Coombs Jr. of Baltimore; 21 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

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