If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny thanks to mountaineer, filmmaker, and author James Barry Corbet, it’s that the life of those with spinal cord injuries is complex yet normal and human. This much has actually even been evidenced in Netflix’s ‘Full Circle,’ especially as it comprises not just narration from his 1980 book ‘Options’ but also exclusive interviews from some of his loved ones. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about his family in particular — with a focus on the personal relationships they shared as well as their current standings — we’ve got the essential details for you.
Who is Barry Corbet’s Family?
It was back in August 1959 when British Columbia native turned Western US resident and skiing-mountaineering enthusiast Barry first came across Mary “Muffy” French, only to soon fall head over heels. The truth is he held a winter ski teacher position for the town hill at the time, so they connected over this shared outdoor passion of theirs plus their innate values before ultimately tying the knot. It thus comes as no surprise she was right there when he pointed at a steep ridge near the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, Wyoming, and asserted, “Someday, somebody’s going to ski that,’ just for it to later become expert ski run; hence named Corbet’s Couloir.
Barry and Muffy actually welcomed three beautiful children into their lives to complete their family — Jonathan plus twins Jennifer and Michael — but everything turned upside down in May 1968. That’s when this filmmaker was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down following a helicopter crash while shooting the International Ski Instructor Association meeting in Aspen, Colorado.
He was only 31, and Muffy still remembers going to meet him at the hospital; “He had some of those elbow crutches,” she recalled in the aforementioned documentary. “He asked me to bring them when I came, so I did. I remember nurse looking at them and saying, ‘What are those doing here, he’ll never use them.'” Then, he apparently began focusing more on raw, human aspects of life too.
“Dad never talked about how he got hurt,” Barry’s daughter Jennifer shared in the original production. “My mom didn’t really talk about it either. I think those were pretty dark days, so people didn’t want to revisit that.” Moreover, by this point, her parents were already amicably divorced, but they later did reconcile and tied the knot, just to divorce once more a few years down the line.
“Dad divided his life into two sections,” Jennifer candidly revealed in the Netflix film. “There was his first life, which was pre-accident, and his second life, which was post-accident. And it wasn’t until his later years that he really considered it to be one life. It was all, as he would have said, ‘part and parcel of the same thing.’ I did ask him one time which half of his life meant more to him, and I mean, he said it was the second half… He had learned so much and grown so much. He gave hope to people with spinal cord injury around the world… He taught regular old people how to look at disability in new ways,” plus he got more time with family.
Though Muffy added, “It was never [Barry’s] goal to become a leader… The point for him was what he was doing. He didn’t announce himself as being a leader, follow me, but people did,” right until his passing on December 18, 2004, at 68. It was then that his eldest, Jonathan, expressed, “Barry’s accomplishments in his life are amazing. But what [I] remember most is a loving father who insisted that his children be prepared and willing to follow their dreams, wherever they may lead them, and despite any obstacles that may appear in the way. He was an example of what life can be when it is truly lived without compromise. There is a huge empty space where Barry Corbet used to be, but the memories live on…”
Where is Barry Corbet’s Family Now?
From what we can tell, Barry’s ex-wife Muffy has since remarried and taken up her husband’s last name to now go by Muffy Moore, but she does still seem to be based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It’s also imperative to note this former certified ski instructor has evolved into an independent arts & crafts professional specializing in ceramics, which has even resulted in her work being available at some gift shops plus galleries.
Coming to Jennifer, it appears as if this Golden, Colorado, resident is a proud family woman these days while also working as a Publisher and People Connector at Foothills Forward LLC. She used to be a freelance technical writer, editor, as well as indexer, yet she later made the jump to publishing because she wanted to build something positive for the community and have more stability considering her brood.
As for Jonathan Corbet, he’s the co-founder and executive editor at Linux Weekly News, an online magazine that lives up to its title by consistently offering users updated information regarding the Linux operating system. It also seems as if this Boulder, Colorado resident is a member of the Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board, a frequent speaker at community events worldwide, as well as a happily married father of two. Last but not least, there’s Michael Corbet, a family man who apparently prefers to lead his life well away from the limelight these days.