Walter Herbert Cobbs Jr., Ph.D., of Salem, died Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at age 91, at Our Lady of the Valley Nursing Home in Roanoke. He was born in Franklin County in Rocky Mount on October 28, 1921, to the late Walter H. Cobbs, Md. and Louise Pearson Cobbs. He graduated from Franklin County High School in 1938, and earned a B.S. in Chemistry summa cum laude from Hampton Sydney College in 1942. He did graduate work in chemistry at Cornell University and earned his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1949. He was proud to have served as radar officer in the Navy in World War II. He contributed in the field of applied polymer research working in various corporations, eventually directing research at Nordson Corp. in Amherst, Ohio, where he retired at age 65. He served as adjunct faculty in the graduate school of Chemistry at Virginia Tech for several years thereafter. He was active in many professional organizations, including the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Chemical Society. He enjoyed serving on Church and hospital boards in several communities where his career led him. He was active in the Presbyterian Church wherever he lived, and a member at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Salem in his retirement. He was an avid home auto mechanic and car buff, enjoyed camping and loved animals.
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He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Jean Delaney Cobbs, of Bedford, to whom he was a devoted husband.
He is survived by his son, Walter H. Cobbs III, M.D.; and his daughters, Elizabeth J. Cobbs, M.D., Susan D. Proctor and Louise Cobbs; brothers, William W. Cobbs and John I. Cobbs; and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 19, 2013, at New Hope Presbyterian Church, Salem with the Rev. Cameron Smith officiating. Interment will follow at Sherwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the John M. Oakey and Son Funeral Home, Salem. 540-389-5441.
Published in Roanoke Times from January 17 to January 18, 2013