Shirley Joanne Page Cobb was born, formally educated, and a long-time resident of Woodsville, N.H.; she passed away on Oct. 20, 2021, in her beloved home, with her family at her bedside. Despite her affliction with Parkinson’s Disease, she survived two recent heart attacks and multiple strokes; she was 85 years old. On numerous occasions, to attest to her strong will, determination, and her deep faith in God, she told us she would walk out of her recent medical issues, as she was admitted to Hospice. A deep appreciation to North Country Home Health and Hospice, who helped her with dignity and grace in her final weeks of life.
A lifelong devotee to music; the history of her town, state, and country; Shirley was a strong contributor to anything she became involved.
Shirley was born on Cherry Street; a full-fledged member of the Cherry Street gang, a gaggle of kids from five homes whose members roamed, discovered, and played. She remained best friends with two members: Joyce Bertrand Sarkady and her brother, Gordon, both members of the illustrious band-of-friends, with whom she remained close for 83 years.
While in and after graduating from Woodsville High School, Shirley gave musical voice and instrument lessons to kids in the area (and in McLure’s Student Band) until she met and married her dashing John Cobb of Newbury, Vt., on June 17, 1956. She followed him, already enlisted in the Air Force, to Mitchel Air Force Base West Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y., where her first daughter, Cynthia, was born (1957).
Next, she moved her family to Bremerhaven, Germany, where she learned how to speak fluent Hockdeutch from her German landlady, Frau Bauer, who she taught English. These times were precarious: reverberations of a post-WWII and unsettled emotions between Russia, the countries of our allied forces, and Germany, made the armed forces concerned, which, given her husband’s military job/knowledge she was instructed to be – at the ready with provisions for a journey for herself, her daughter, and her (unborn) daughter on the way – to Switzerland, a neutral country, without her husband, in their small Karman Ghia. Her husband would, most probably, already be back in the United States, safe when Shirley would be instructed to make this journey. Shirley took this on with aplomb; luckily, this never came to pass. Her second daughter, Christina (Tina) was born (1962). From there her husband’s Air Force career returned them to Oneida, N.Y., (1962-1964), where she was involved with Oneida Methodist Church (their choir and the Women’s Club and various money-raising events). There is a tale mom went up against a prominent lawyer in town who wanted to do away with Washington Street Elementary School. She stood tough to his newspaper bullying – and won out. From Oneida, they moved back to Woodsville (1964-1966), having purchased, and moved into her grandfather’s/grandmother’s home, two people she was particularly fond, and a home she herself helped them finish (setting up sheetrock, selecting tile, and so on). Here she raised her two daughters alone and was involved in Woodsville United Methodist Church, Progressive Club, and North Country Chorus, while her husband served in Danang Vietnam (1966-67). His next tour-of-duty brought her family to Crete, Greece – where she continued to be involved with the Air Force Base non-denominational Church and their choirs, and Military Women’s Club, as well as persisting that her two daughters continue their instrument lessons (by her).
From Crete, (1968) she moved with her family back to Woodsville and her beloved home as her husband served at the Pentagon for the Joint Chief of Staff, then retired from Hanscom AFB. She was a seamstress for Hovey’s Shoppe and took on sewing entire wedding party dresses, authentic Madrigal costumes, North Country Chorus attire, and many other community sewing needs.
As her daughters went on to college and raise families, she continued to be involved in her community: employed in the Purchasing Office and then rising to Purchasing Director at Cottage Hospital, as well as being an active member of Woodsville United Methodist Church (Pastor Parish Relations, Conference member, North Country Chorus member (50+ years) and Treasurer, Oxbow Chapter DAR (Newbury, Vt.), VFW Axillary, McLure’s Student Band, Haverhill Historical Society, Bedell Bridge Restoration project, Haverhill Trustee of the Trust Funds, saving the Opera House backdrop curtain and chandelier, the Ladd Street School project, and committee member of the 250th Haverhill Anniversary.
She leaves behind her daughters Cynthia M. C. Crow, her two sons William I Crow and Christian P Crow; Christina C Hebert, her husband Gary P Hebert, their two sons Timothy J Hebert, his wife Madison M Hebert, her son Forrest G Brock and their son Gregory J.P. Hebert, and Benjamin R Hebert and his wife Sabrina Hebert and their sons Matthew T Hebert, Henry J Hebert, and Philip A Hebert. She also leaves her sister Donna Kennedy and her husband Brian Kennedy.
She was a force to reckon with: her remarkable memory (to the end), her mischievous sense of humor, and her strong character will be profoundly missed.
Calling hours will be on Monday, Nov. 1, from 5-7 p.m. at Ricker Funeral Home, 1 Birch Street, Woodsville, NH.
A funeral service will be on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. at the Woodsville United Methodist Church, Maple Street, Woodsville.
Burial will follow in Oxbow Cemetery, Newbury, Vt.
Memorial contributions may be made to either the North Country Chorus, c/o Winston Currier, treasurer, 98 Harley View Acres, Monroe, NH 03771 or to the Daughters of the American Revolution (Newbury Chapter), c/o Pat De Witt, 1128 Lower Plain, Bradford, VT 05033. For more information, or to offer an online condolence, please visit www.rickerfh.com
Ricker Funeral Home & Cremation Care of Woodsville is in charge of arrangements.