Rev. John's Story
The Rev. John Pierpont Cobb, former rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Dayton, died on September 25, 2016, his 93rd birthday. Born in Chicago and raised in Winnetka, Ill., the youngest of four siblings, Mr. Cobb graduated from New Trier High School and Harvard University. Like many in his generation, his education was interrupted by WWII, during which he served as an ambulance driver in the American Field Service. After completing his tour of duty, he joined the US Navy as a hospital corpsman in 1944 and was stationed at Mare Island Naval Hospital in California. This experience of human suffering was to leave a life-long mark that he eventually managed to transform into a vocation for the ministry. Mr. Cobb and his wife, Ann, a native Californian, settled in the San Francisco Bay area, where he worked in business for many years, before attending the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. He was ordained to the diaconate in San Francisco in 1961 and to the priesthood in 1962 at Christ Church, Cincinnati. Rector of St. Mark’s for 32 years until his retirement at age 72, Mr. Cobb was also active in civic life in Dayton. He worked with a halfway house to help released prisoners; with the Dayton Public Schools to tutor children; and to fight discrimination in the access to housing and jobs. With his wife, Ann, a social worker with Montgomery County Children’s Services, he initiated outreach work amongst parishioners, creating the Home Sweet Home program which linked volunteers within the parish to single mothers needing help and mentoring. As a widower, Mr. Cobb shared his life in retirement in Gloucester, Mass., and many of his world travels with his companion, Mary Frear. His last year was spent in quiet dignity in the loving care of the staff of Deupree Cottages, an Episcopal Retirement Services facility in Cincinnati. Known as Father Cobb or Father John to many, he is survived by four of his five children; 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at St. Mark’s, 456 Woodman Drive, Dayton, on Saturday, October 8, at 11 a.m.