Indiana University

Harriet Clare Cobb Obituary

Dr. Harriet Clare Cobb Dr. Harriet Clare Cobb, 62, passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Bath County, Virginia, a place she had often called her favorite in the world. Harriet, a loving mother, sister, aunt, great aunt, and friend is survived by her son, Adam Brown of Harrisonburg, Virginia; her sister, Barbara Schnackenberg of Chicago, Illinois; her sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Richard McDonald of Huddleston, Virginia; her nephew, Douglas Schnackenberg of Chicago, Illinois; her nephew, Mark Schnackenberg and wife, Hyunae; and great-nephew, Henry of Seattle, Washington. Previously married twice, she maintained close friendships with former spouses Douglas T. Brown and his wife, Betsy Brown, of Port Hayward, Virginia, and Ronald E. Reeve of Charlottesville, Virginia, who share in mourning her passing. Born in South Euclid, Ohio, Harriet loved spending time while growing up with her sisters, and lifelong friend, Joie Daniels. A loyal friend to many, she spent countless happy times and shared a thousand memories with Alexandra Norton, Susan Prout, and Sandy Arnold-Harris, among others. Once reaching college age, Harriet embarked on a lifelong journey dedicated to humanism, aiming to help all those around her. She began her mission at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where she obtained her B.S. in Psychology in 1973, then subsequently earned her M.S. in School Psychology in 1974. Harriet began her professional career in Warm Springs, Virginia, where she served as School Psychologist and Director of Pupil Personnel Services for the Bath County School Division from 1974 until 1980. She referred to her time in Bath County as one of the most meaningful experiences of her life. Always ambitious, Harriet achieved the culmination of her dream of earning a doctoral degree when she obtained her Ed.D. in Counselor Education with a cognate in Clinical Psychology from The University of Virginia in 1980. After serving as Director of Psychological Services for the Staunton City Schools in Staunton, Virginia, from 1980 until 1981, Harriet was hired by James Madison University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. Her passion and skill for teaching, scholarship, and service continued throughout her entire career. She quickly achieved the designation of Associate Professor in 1986, and through hard work, perseverance, and a deep caring for her students, she achieved the distinguished title of Full Professor in 1996. She served as Head of The Department of Graduate Psychology from 2009 until 2011. Harriet won numerous honors at JMU, including the Outstanding Faculty award for the Department of Psychology and both the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Service Award. She published more than two dozen professional articles and chapters and made numerous national and international presentations. She was instrumental in developing and obtaining university, state, and national approval for JMU's first doctoral program, the Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology. During her 32-year tenure at JMU, Harriet demonstrated tremendous commitment to interdisciplinary endeavors. She was a leading voice in diversity efforts, helping to launch and coordinate the Inter-Group Dialogue program. She co-directed the University's annual Leadership Academy. As an independent practitioner in Harrisonburg for over 25 years, Harriet assisted hundreds of individuals through her psychological assessment and psychotherapeutic intervention skills. Widely considered to be the "go to" therapist for people coping with all sorts of life issues, Harriet's wisdom and sensitivity helped ease life's burdens for her patients. Harriet brought joy, energy, creativity, and warmth to every aspect of her life. She was the model of a life-long learner always thinking, reading, talking, listening, and otherwise engaging with the emotional and intellectual world around her. She will be missed by all whom she touched. A public ceremony of her life will be held at the Festival Center, Ballroom A, at JMU on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 6 pm. A private memorial service will be held by her family at a date to be determined. The family expresses their utmost gratitude to the volunteers from the following organizations: the Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department, the Hot Springs Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Mountain Grove Volunteer Fire Department, the Millboro Area Rescue Squad and First Responders, and the Westvaco Rescue Squad. A special thanks goes to Sgt. Mike King, Sgt. Frank Pyanoe III, Sgt. Kyle Moore, Special Agent Steve Oliver, Special Agent Joseph D. Bowyer, Trooper Harvey L. Stover, Trooper T.A. May, and the rest of the Virginia State Police. Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, should be made to the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA), 6944 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA 23225 or any of the organizations mentioned above. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Grandle Funeral Home in Broadway. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.
Read Full Obituary for Harriet Cobb
Published online on March 22, 2013 courtesy of Daily Progress.

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