Patricia Cobb Tarnow peacefully sailed into eternity on March 17, 2020. She was born on March 13, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio to parents Samuel Henry and Charlotte Caton Cobb. Patricia, also known as Pat, Patty, Coobie, or Oma by loving friends and family, was the last surviving of eight siblings: Samuel Henry Jr, Laura Caton, Charles Caton, George Henry II, Edward Douglas, Nancy Ann, and Charlotte Melissa Cobb.
Her father being an educator, Pat spent most of her summers from childhood onward in Chatham. While a student at Oberlin College (Class of ’49), she met the one and only love of her life, Robert L Tarnow (d. 1998). The two married in 1950. Together they raised a family of eight children: Richard, Robert Laurence Jr. (Larry), Stephen, David (d. 1974), Beverly, John, Karen, and Suzanne. Pat is survived by seven children, sixteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
As a strong-minded and independent woman, it was only fitting that she spent three decades living in Seneca Falls, N.Y., the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement. She engaged in many volunteer activities including the Girl Scouts, Women’s League, Recreation Commission and Historical Society. In later years, after her children were grown, Pat and Bob enjoyed splitting their time between Naples, Fla. and Chatham. Pat loved her work as a docent at The Conservancy in Naples, teaching countless groups of school children about the animals and ecosystems of southwest Florida. In Chatham, she enjoyed golfing, sailing, and collecting water samples for environmental testing. She was a devoted member of the Oberlin Alumni Association, sending out annual class letters and encouraging other alumni to support Oberlin through financial gifts.
In 2016, Pat moved to Louisville, Colorado to be near her eldest son and daughter. It was here that she was often visited by her children and extended family, fully embracing and celebrating her favorite motto, “LIVE – LAUGH – LOVE.”
Pat spent the final six months of her life in hospice care due to cancer. She continued to live a dignified and independent life up until the very end, always grateful for the time and good fortune that she had been given. Surrounded by family on her 92nd birthday, she maintained her high spirits and graceful humility. Four days later, a light shone bright from a lighthouse on a distant shore and called her ship back to safe harbor and straight into the palm of God’s hand.
A remembrance and committal service will be celebrated at a later date with family in Chatham. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Pat’s name to The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and TRU Hospice of Colorado.