Bill Cobb - Class of 1943

Cobb, William Samuel 84 6/1/1925 1/20/2010 After a long and prosperous life, William Samuel Cobb died in his home in Lake Oswego Jan. 20, 2010. William, usually called Bill, was born in Grants Pass June 1, 1925. He was the third child of Everett and Grace Cobb who were managing a pear orchard in the nearby town of Merlin. 

Bill was a man of strong character and high integrity who had a deep love of Oregon. His ancestors first arrived in Oregon in 1864, and while he lived outside of the state for part of his life, Oregon was always his home. In 1932, after the death of his younger brother, Bill's family moved to Portland. 

The family moved frequently within the Mt. Tabor district as the family struggled during the Great Depression. Bill attended Glencoe Elementary School and graduated from Washington High School in January 1943. He immediately followed his brother and sister to Oregon State College, where he majored in engineering and joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. 

In September 1943, Bill was drafted into the U.S. Army. He left Oregon for the first time and traveled to Camp Roberts in California for basic training. There, his skills on the firing range led to him being designated a marksman. In the spring of 1944 he was sent to England as part of a D-Day replacement unit. In mid-June 1944, Bill was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division and sent into the hedgerow country of Normandy. Bill participated in the battle for St. Lô and experienced some of the bloodiest battles of World War II. His regiment saw 60 percent of its soldiers killed or wounded in the two months after D-Day. Bill participated in the breakout at St. Lô and then in early August was severely wounded by German artillery fire near Vire, France. He spent four months recuperating in a hospital in Wales. 

After his recovery, he returned to the United States where he attended officer candidate school at Amherst College and later trained soldiers. He returned home to Portland after being discharged on Valentine's Day 1946. Bill enrolled in the University of Oregon, where he majored in accounting. It was here where he met Barbara Johns. She also had deep family roots in Oregon. Her ancestors first arrived in Oregon in 1858, and her father had been a justice on the Oregon Supreme Court. 

Bill and Barbara graduated from the University of Oregon in 1948 and were married in Portland Oct. 9, 1948. Bill began his career as an accountant, and later passed the examination to become a certified public accountant. He spent his entire career with Deloitte & Touche and its predecessors. In Portland, Bill and Barbara were blessed with three sons and a daughter. Bill's job transferred the family to Medford in 1960, where Bill was active in the community. He was an elder of the Westminster Presbyterian Church and a member of the Kiwanis Club. 

He became a partner of Deloitte & Touche in 1965. Bill was transferred back to the Portland office in 1968, and the family moved to Lake Oswego. In 1972, Bill was transferred to Allentown, Pa., and then two years later to Philadelphia. Bill retired in 1984. Bill and Barbara remained in Pennsylvania for two years after Bill's retirement and visited many historical sites on the East Coast. 

In 1986, they returned home to Oregon and settled in Lake Oswego, where they lived the remaining years of their lives. They traveled extensively. Their favorite destinations were Hawaii and Europe. They were also passengers on 24 different cruises to numerous destinations throughout Europe and the Americas. Barbara died in 2005. 

Bill's devotion to the University of Oregon remained strong throughout his life. He was a generous financial supporter of the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon. He ardently supported the university's athletic teams, and two of his sons and three of his grandchildren attended the university. At Bill's request, there will be no memorial service. He will be buried alongside his wife in Willamette National Cemetery, Portland. 

Bill is s urvived by his siblings, Everett Cobb Jr. and Marian Carlson of Portland; children, William Cobb Jr. of Palm Desert, Calif.; Charles Cobb of Lake Oswego; Marian McAndie of Portland; and John Cobb of Menlo Park, Calif.; grandchildren, Michael Cobb of Lake Oswego and Mathew Cobb, Jamison McAndie and Morgan McAndie of Portland, and Bryant Cobb and Lauren Cobb of Menlo Park; and great-granddaughter, Madison Cobb of Lake Oswego.