Converse Celebrates the Life of Former Trustee Jamie Cobb
June 26, 2018
The Converse community mourns the passing of former Trustee and longtime Converse supporter Jamie Cobb, who died peacefully at his home on Sunday, June 24, 2018. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 27, at 3:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg.
Mr. Cobb has broad ties to the Converse family, including several family members among the College’s alumnae and among past and present members of the Board of Trustees. His generous service as a Board member spanned 25 years, from 1953-1978. In 2005, he established an endowment fund to create the Greenwald Award in Art, which provides monetary recognition to a senior majoring in art selected by the Converse faculty. The award honors the Greenwald family’s support of the Converse art department and of the Spartanburg arts community during their lifetimes, and Mr. Cobb’s friendship with the family through his career with Greenwald’s Inc.
“His dedication and leadership to the College throughout his lifetime is an inspiration”
“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the Cobb and Johnson families and their many friends and relatives,” said President Krista Newkirk. “Converse has been immensely fortunate to have Mr. Cobb as a part of our community, and he will be missed as a regular attendee of Converse events. His dedication and leadership to the College throughout his lifetime is an inspiration, and it has been an honor to know him over the last two years of my presidency.”
James David Cobb was born November 25, 1918, as the eldest son of the late James Wiley and Ethel Greenewald Cobb. He attended the public schools of Spartanburg and graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1935. He graduated from the Citadel in 1939 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, ranking fourth in his class scholastically and ranking third militarily as a Cadet Major, Artillery Battalion Commander.
In 1939, he began working at Greenewald’s Inc., a retail men’s clothing store in Spartanburg. He served as co-owner and Vice-President from 1953 until his retirement in December of 1983.
He was a member of the Board of Directors of both the Spartanburg Travelers’ Aid Society and of the Spartanburg Community Chest as well as a director of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce from 1957-1960. In 1949, he was chairman of the Spartanburg County Chapter of the American Red Cross and chairman of the Retail Merchants Bureau in 1951. He also served as President of the Kiwanis Club in 1958 and was a member of the Spartanburg Country Club and Cotillion Club. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg and served as Deacon for many years.
An avid learner and teacher, Mr. Cobb completed many Church Bible Study programs and taught Senior High Sunday School. He also completed a literature course taught at Wofford College by his son John C. Cobb. He was involved with the adult literacy program, teaching several to read. He was an avid bridge player and earned life master status while competing on both a local and national stage.
Mr. Cobb was an Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army on active duty during World War II from April 1941 until March 1946, being promoted to Major in November of 1944 and stationed in Hawaii from January 1942 until November 1945. Post World War II, he held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves until he was honorably retired in November of 1978.
He married Alice Burnett Cooke, daughter of Wilbur Carter and Gertrude Burnett Cooke, in 1941. They had two children before she died in 1948. He was formerly married to Louise Elizabeth Cleveland in 1952. They had one son.
Jamie Cobb is survived by his son, James David Cobb, Jr., and his daughter, Ann Carter Cobb Johnson and her husband, Stewart Heath Johnson, of Spartanburg. He was predeceased by a son, John Cleveland Cobb. Other survivors are eight grandchildren: Alice Cobb Howell and her husband, Louis Peyton Howell, Jr., of Spartanburg; James David Cobb, III and his wife, Jennifer West Cobb, of Isle of Palms; Stewart Heath Johnson, Jr. and his wife, Ann Mullins Johnson; David Greenewald Johnson and his wife, Louise Bradley Johnson; Jamie Cobb Johnson Boyd and her husband, Pascal Strong Boyd III; Ann Burnett Johnson Hopkins, all of Spartanburg; Elizabeth Cleveland Cobb of Evanston, Illinois; and John Austin Cleveland Cobb of Murray, Kentucky. There are fifteen surviving great-grandchildren: Louis Peyton Howell, III, Madison Cobb Howell and his wife, Rachel Tidd Howell, Elizabeth Ann Johnson, Sarah Cobb Johnson, Alice Mullins Johnson, David Houston Johnson, Bradley DuPre Johnson, Bennett Maxwell Johnson, James Cameron Boyd, John Carter Boyd, Heath Johnson Boyd, John Robert Hopkins II, William Stewart Hopkins, Anna Lucile Cobb, and James David Cobb IV. He was predeceased by his brother, John Leiston Cobb.