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Jack Charles Edward (Corky) Corrock
June 15, 1926 – February 25, 2023
Jack Corrock was born in Seattle, the youngest of three children of Art and Ada Corrock. As teenagers, Jack and his future wife, Lila Saari, skied for the first time on the West Seattle Golf Course with skis and poles purchased at the local hardware store for five dollars, the beginning of a lifelong love affair with skiing and the mountains.
In 1944, Jack enlisted to serve as a Merchant Marine. He crewed Liberty Ships as a 4th Cook, peeling lots of potatoes and supporting troops and the wounded in the Pacific and other parts of the world. After the war, he returned to Seattle. He spent a year working at the old Milwaukee Ski Bowl on Snoqualmie Pass, building the rope tows in the summer and operating the lifts in the winter. That spring, he and four buddies converted an army ambulance which they named the Meat Wagon, and embarked on a ski trip to Aspen and Sun Valley. This trip strengthened Jack’s love of skiing and ski towns.
Jack and Lila married in 1948 and began their 69 year adventure together. Jack chose a career in building, starting with their first home, then building apartment buildings in West Seattle. They raised three children, Kenny, Susie, and Anne, and eventually built the family home on Puget Sound.
In 1960, the family travelled to Europe for a year, spending five months in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and the remainder in a Volkswagen van, camping and exploring Europe. While the kids attended the local Volkschule, Jack and Lila skied the beautiful mountains surrounding Kitzbuhel. The time spent in Kitzbuhel sparked an interest in ski racing. All three kids, Kenny, Susie, and Anne had successful ski racing careers becoming members of the U.S. Ski Team, with Susie capturing a Bronze Medal in the 1972 Sapporo Olympics.
Upon returning to West Seattle, Jack’s ski adventures led them to Crystal Mountain. Jack and Lila were original stockholders and volunteer fundraisers for the new ski area, proudly selling the most Crystal Stock. This new ski area created yet another adventure. With their Austrian experience, passion for skiing, and Jack’s skill as a builder, the idea of building a hotel at Crystal Mountain was hatched. They formed a partnership with eight other avid ski families and secured the permits to build a mountain ski lodge. The Alpine Inn Hotel opened in 1964 with a slogan of “built for skiers, by skiers”. In 1965, the group expanded the property by adding the Alpine Inn Restaurant and the Snorting Elk Cellar, which has been voted one of the top 10 mountain ski pubs in the U.S.
1970 brought another change as Jack and Lila moved the family to Sun Valley, which become their permanent home. Jack proudly served eleven years on the Ketchum City Council. During his time in city government, Ketchum developed the free local bus system and also worked hard at preserving community land, such as Rotary Park. Youngest daughter, Anne, was influenced by Jack and followed his path to serve on the same city council 25 years later.
Jack served on three boards in the ski world. He was a founder and board member at Crystal Mountain, a board member of the U.S. Ski Team, and a founding member of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
In retirement, Jack and Lila returned to their love of the water by becoming windsurfers, spending time in Hawaii, South Padre Island, and Baja Mexico. Their permanent home, however, was the house Jack built out Warm Springs. Both he and Lila cherished their home and spent hours on the patio looking up at Baldy.
Jack was one of those self-made men who came from the era Tom Brokaw coined “The Greatest Generation”. He left his mark and created some good in this world. In his life, he was strong in his opinions, yet very good at being introspective. He prided himself on being able to read peoples thoughts, making him a good and fair negotiator.
Jack is survived by his three children, Kenny, Susie (Bob), and Anne (Mike), along with six grandchildren, Lily (Julien), Mackenzie (John), Tyler (Jen), Whit, Kevin (Keri), and Christy (Dave), and one great grandson, Sebastian Luby. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Lila, whom he cared for until her passing in 2017. Jack will be sorely missed but fondly remembered by his entire family.
In lieu of flowers, Jack would love it if you were to recognize him with a donation to one of your favorite charities.
Save the date! Join our family in celebrating Jack and Lila’s lives on Sunday, March 26th at the Ketchum American Legion Hall from 3:00 - 5:00.
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