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In Memory of . . . Maurice W. Cobb (1918-2015)

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 9, 2015

The Rev. Maurice W. Cobb died on September 10, 2015 at the age of 97.


Maurice was born to Richard Cobb and Lelia Lampson Cobb on March 4, 1918. He received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Crane Theological School in 1943; and a Master of Arts in philosophy from the University of North Carolina in 1953.


Rev. Cobb was ordained to the ministry in 1943 by All Souls Universalist Church in East Boston, MA. In 1944, he was called to serve the triangulated churches of Clinton, Red Hill, and Hopewell, NC, and he served the three until 1948. He ministered to Derby Line, VT from 1949 to 1953; Attica-Belleville, OH from 1953 to 1956; and Dolgeville and Salisbury Center, NY from 1956 to 1964. He spent the next twelve years serving as minister to the First Universalist Church in Brunswick, ME. He then served as minister-at-large to the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, MA from 1976 to 1979, and assistant minister and religious education director to First Parish Unitarian in Billerica, MA from 1979 to 1983, at which point he retired from active ministry. He was named Minister Emeritus of the First Parish in Billerica in 1983. From 1998 to 2000, he ministered part time to the UU Church of Sanford, ME, and he was named Minister Emeritus of the church in 1999.


During Rev. Cobb’s twelve year ministry in Brunswick, he shared his passion for social action with the congregation. He helped create relationships between the church and local community organizations, several of which he founded. Such organizations included, but were not limited to, a suicide prevention program, the Bath Brunswick Food Co-op, and an Amnesty International group. Upon moving to Massachusetts, he served as a member of the Children’s Protective Services Board; North End Onboard; New Bedford Onboard; and the New Bedford Council on Addiction.


After his 1983 retirement, Maurice kept quite busy, discovering new interests and tending to old ones. He remained active in social justice organizations and served Amnesty International, Peace Action Maine, and AARP, among others. Maurice took a house design and construction course at the Shelter Institute and used his skills to build a house in West Newfield, ME. He loved his house, and enjoyed a thirty year retirement there. Vegetable gardening, traveling to visit family, letter writing, and the Red Sox, were some of his pleasures.


Maurice’s dear friend, Martha Gottlieb, explains, “The essential spirit of this man, as I see it, is of tolerance and deep compassion. Christian, you might say, though his theology was nuanced.”


Of Maurice’s ministry, Martha wrote:


"During those years in Brunswick if one wanted access to help or services that were hard to come by, Maurice was considered to be the one with the cosmic connection.  He worked with those who back then were not well served by the system.  Up until the day of his death he was aware that they are still with us, and they were in his thoughts."


Maurice is survived by his loving and close friend of 40 years, Martha Gottlieb; brother, Lawrence Cobb; nieces, Llynda Bigalow and Susan Engle; nephew, Richard Cobb; nine great nieces and nephews; several great-great nephews; and a host of long-time friends.


A memorial service will be held on October 24, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. at the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church, 5 Lebanon St., Sanford ME 04073.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the charity of your choosing.


Notes of condolences may be sent to Maurice's brother, Lawrence R.Cobb, 77 Cedar Ridge Dr., Shelburne, VT, 05482; Maurice's niece, Llynda C. Bigalow, 77 Cedar Ridge Dr., Shelburne, VT, 05482; and to Martha Gottlieb, 93 Head Tide Road, Whitefield, ME. 04353.

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