Edena “Dena” Beard Cobb, 92, a former longtime resident of Amarillo, died Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Brentwood, Tenn.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, May 31, 2013, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Reed Redus, associate pastor at First Baptist Church Amarillo, officiating. Burial will follow at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Dena was born Oct. 6, 1920, in Sinton, Tex., to Dora Cavanaugh and Ernest Mabry Beard. She grew up on a farm outside of Taft and graduated from Taft High School in 1938. She won a music scholarship to Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, and transferred the following year to Baylor University in Waco, also on a scholarship with the Baylor Golden Wave Band. She graduated in 1942 from Baylor with a bachelor of business administration degree and started working at the naval air station in Corpus Christi, where she remained until the end of the World War II in 1945. While attending Baylor, she had met James Franklin Cobb of Caldwell, Tex., and after he returned from the war, they married Oct. 20, 1945, in Taft.
After the wedding, she and Jim moved to Amarillo and set up residence. She was an active member and Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church for 40 years. While rearing three children, she began teaching night school at Amarillo College. After receiving her master’s degree in Business Administration from West Texas State University, she became a full-time professor in the Department of Office Occupations at AC, teaching a myriad of courses. She spent her last years at AC teaching court reporting and was devoted to the program and to her students. She retired in 1984.
Dena was one of the directors and an officer for the Amarillo School Employee Credit Union (Education Credit Union) for many years. She also was a member of the National and Texas Business Education Association, Texas Junior College Teachers Association, and Zeta Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. She was chosen Business Teacher of the Year from District XVI in 1977-78.
She left Amarillo in 1986 and moved to Houston, where she was an active member and president of the Sugar Land Garden Club. In 1996, she and Jim moved to Brentwood, where she joined Brentwood Baptist Church.
Our mother was a hard worker, who inspired her children to believe in the opportunities that come through perseverance and education. She supported all our endeavors and was a working mom who was always there for us. During the last years of her life, our father was her primary caregiver, never leaving her side, keeping her informed of everything that was happening in the world and in our lives. We were blessed to have her for so many years and will miss her always.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters: Lorna Marie Beard and Mary Etta Beard Ritchie.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years; a daughter, Linda Cobb Bigham and partner Vivian Salazar of Amarillo; a son, James Gray Cobb and wife Jonita King Cobb of Euless; a daughter, Dena K. Cobb Buford and husband Mark Buford of Brentwood, TN.; six grandchildren: Todd Bigham of Amarillo, Hayden Bigham McKinney of Rowlett, Aaron James Cobb of Richardson, Adriane Cobb Davenport of Trophy Club; and Kristen Buford Rodewald and Jade Buford, both of Brentwood; 11 great-grandchildren; and her brother, Mabry Beard of Jacksonville, TX.