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Obituaries » Samuel Cobean

Samuel Cobean

June 2, 2018


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Samuel Wilson Cobean, 94, of Branford, Florida passed away June 2, 2018. He was born on May 19, 1924 in Krebs, Oklahoma to George and Pauline Cobean. Sam’s beloved wife of 66 years, Dorothy Bernice passed away in 2012. They lived in the home they personally built in Hatchbend on the Suwannee River, and became an integral part of that community. Sam Cobean was one of the “the Greatest Generation”. Prior to his military retirement in 1968 Sam served as a proud and highly decorated Naval enlisted service member and commissioned officer, and thereafter spent many years humbly sharing his stories with family, friends, and strangers. His career, spanning 27 years, began in San Diego, CA, in May 1941. He was assigned to a PBY5 Seaplane Squadron in the Aleutian Islands. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, in August of 1942 his heroic act aboard the USS Casco Seaplane Tender saved the ship, after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, by extinguishing a flare in the fuel-soaked waters. He was awarded the distinguished Silver Star for his bravery. Sam was promoted to Chief Petty Office at the age of 20, making him the youngest to attain this rank at the time. He was also one of the U.S. Navy’s courageous Enlisted Bombardier/Navigators. Sam became a “Mustang” in 1956 when he was commissioned as Ensign, and he ultimately achieved the rank of Lt. Commander and retired in Sanford, Florida. During these later years Sam was a Naval Flight Officer, Maintenance Control Officer, Electronic Warfare Evaluator/Navigator and Unrestricted Line Naval Flight Officer. Sam and his family traveled extensively, stationed in several continental U.S. Naval bases, Hawaii, Newfoundland and Rota, Spain. After his military career Sam and Bernice began building their Suwannee River home and traveling the country with their pontoon boat in tow. This was what brought them the most joy, being free to live each day together. Sam is survived by his three children, Paula Cobean of New Smyrna Beach, Jo Cobean Simonini of N. Ft. Myers, and Robert Cobean of New Smyrna Beach, and 5 grandchildren, Corey Brown of New Smyrna Beach, Gentry Haffa of N. Ft. Myers, Cheyenn Cobean, Alex Cobean and Thomas Cobean of New Smyrna Beach. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 am, Friday, June 22, 2018 at Hatchbend Baptist Church, Branford, Florida, with a fellowship reception to follow. Arrangements have been entrusted to ICS Cremation & Funeral Home.