William Edward Cobb
2/22/1934 – 12/1/2022
Bill Cobb was born in Rio Hondo in South Texas. His career history started in construction, building an outdoor play house for his sister, Janie. He also worked in his grandfather’s grocery store doing anything that was needed there. Early in 1951 he and his two best friends Eugene Sommerlatte and John Brady, joined the Navy together and served in the Korean War. Bill separated from the Navy in 1955 after receiving two Korean service medals, a National Defense service medal and a United Nations service medal. He was proud of his service to his country but was also glad to get out and start a family.
When he got home from his military tour he met his brother-in-law’s sister, Marilyn Spradlin, and they married. James Edward Cobb was born June 1960 and Andrea Denise Cobb was born May 1962. His love for any kind of animal was evidenced by bringing them home and having the nickname “Cobb Zoo” in the backyard. It was known to have raccoons, a fox, Shetland pony, squirrel monkey, Billy goat, pheasants, rabbits, cats and dogs. Even though his kids begged for a baby elephant or a giraffe, they never got them. His love for animals transferred to his kids and grandkids.
Bill had several other careers to include loan officer, getting his associates degree in business and writing for a newspaper. But his longest and most memorable career was long haul truck driving. It was during this career, after his divorce with his first wife, that Bill met and married Mary Jane Guttormson in Minnesota. He moved to the Moorhead area in 1976 and had made that his home ever since. After retiring from driving, Bill was a truck dispatcher for Valley Trucking where he met and made many lifelong friends. Ronnie Lindblad was one of those friends who was with Bill and Mary until his very last breath. These kind of true friends are often hard to find. This family is very fortunate to have Ronnie in our corner.
One mentionable event in Bill’s life was in the early 1960’s in Port Neches, Texas when he was driving to see his sister, Velma and her family. He noticed headlights under the water near the bridge he was driving over. Pulling over and jumping in, Bill was able to save the driver from drowning and became an unsung hero. Very humble, he jumped back in his truck, drove to his sister’s house and put his belt and wallet in her oven to dry them out and then went on his way.
Known as a prankster and fiercely loyal friend, Bill kept in contact with his friends throughout his 88 years. He made calls regularly and sent hilarious notes in the mail to keep in touch. He loved the Sommerlatte family, Glenda, Sue, Sherry, Sandra and Shirley as his very own and they will miss his calls and his story telling as well. He was preceded in death by his son in 2013 who succumbed to Pancreatic cancer. Bill said, “no parent should ever have to bury their child.”
We are so thankful to friends and neighbors in Minnesota who have become family and those who have taken time to give condolences. We especially are thankful for nephew Aaron Eliason and his wife Breezy for all the things you do. I don’t know where we would be without the two of you. Your friendship and love has made all the world of difference in our lives.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Mary Cobb, sister Nora Jane Spradlin, daughter Andrea Robertson (Daniel Robertson), daughter-in-law Corrie Fuquay (wife of Jimmy Cobb), grandson William Traylor Cobb (Christy Cobb), granddaughter Loren Elizabeth Franckowiak (Peter Franckowiak), grandson Matthew Anson Watson (Amanda Watson) and 5 great grandchildren, Dallas Grace Franckowiak, Gavyn Lee Cobb, Madison Grace Cobb, James Michael Cobb, Samuel James Watson, many great nieces and nephews and of course, the most loyal of all, his precious dog Blanco.