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S. John Cobis, Jr.

S. John Cobis, Jr.

Jun 30, 1928 - Jul 21, 2023

S. John Cobis, Jr. - Obituary

Stephen John Cobis, Jr. died on Friday, July 21 at his home in Annapolis, MD. Born on June 30, 1928 in Queens, New York, John was raised with five siblings by his mother in Woodstock, Maryland. His family struggled to survive during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He followed the lead of his two older brothers who were in the Army and Coast Guard by dedicating himself to military service. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII, forging a 20 yr. career. He received basic and advanced medical training which led to assignments in the U.S. Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; NAS (Naval Air Engineering Station), Lakehurst, NJ; Naval Department and Naval Security Stations, Washington, D.C. His medical training was utilized at sea as he served with honor aboard the USS Roosevelt CUB-42, USS Des Moines CA-134, USS Mindoro CVE-120, USS Rockbridge APA-228, USS Meeker County (LST-980), and Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 2. John volunteered and was selected for submarine service. After basic submarine school and advanced submarine medicine school, he served in the diesel boats USS Perch 55-313, USS Queenfish 55-393, USS Raton 55-270, and on the staff of Submarine Squadron 3. John served with honor during the Korean War and retired as Chief Hospital Corpsman, Submarine Service, in 1965. His service record is laced with commendations and superior performance awards. After retirement, John was employed as a pharmacy technician for Peoples Drug Store and soon after he was selected to assist in the activation of the newly planned Morris Cafritz Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. After that hospital was fully operational, he was recruited to activate a similar hospital for the Veterans Administration in Gainesville, Florida, affiliated with the University of Florida. Six years later he was recruited by the Veterans Administration Central Office in Washington, D.C. to assume nationwide responsibility for 170+ V.A. hospitals, clinics, and supply depots in matters of materials management. John served as an instructor at George Washington University and as a member of the American Association of Medical Instrumentation Committee on Ethylene Oxide Sterilization. He represented the V.A. at the Johnson & Johnson Kilmer Conference on Radiation Sterilization held in Vienna, Austria. He is a published author through articles in The American Hospital Association Journal as well as other publications and was a frequent guest lecturer at Hospital Materials Management programs. John, cleared for Top Secret designation, was a member of the President's relocation team in the event of a national emergency. During John's Navy career, he met a Maryknoll missionary priest in Hong Kong who reintroduced him to the everyday pains of poverty. John then became a devout supporter of the poor, particularly those of the third world. He made frequent missionary trips to Haiti, Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. He became a minister of a missionary team from the Diocese of Orlando and traveled frequently to serve the poorest of the poor in the mountain village of Lac Caritas, Dominican Republic. There they built houses, schools, leisure, and worship facilities for the poorest of the poor in the third world. He stayed in contact with these devoted team members and cherished their friendships and intense interest in "serving the poor." John has sponsored countless children in Africa and Guatemala through his favored charity organization, "Food for the Poor." In 1985, John and his second wife, Shirley, moved to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where they opened and operated a Bed and Breakfast known as "Heart in Hand." The endeavor created never forgotten memories of his neighbors and those guests who frequented the Inn. It was during this period that John was persuaded to run for office in the Vermont Legislature. He often joked that the only trouble with this idea was that he won! John was a daily communicant at Holy Family Catholic Church in Davidsonville, Maryland with active memberships in the Secular Franciscans, St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Knights of Columbus, and the Order of St. Francis Secular. He served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and faithful adorant at Eucharistic adoration. He loved his pastors, Father Andy Aaron and Father Mike Jendrek, his pastoral family, and the "Church" who rallied to his support in his times of distress and need. John met and married fellow Navy enlistee Nancy “Anna” Dunn of New York in 1950. They quietly raised five natural and two adopted children. Nancy passed away from cancer in 1993. He married Shirley MacSorley of Cambridge, Maryland in 1984. She succumbed to cancer in 2009. In 2010 John married Jane Scott of Harwood, Maryland; a family friend since the 1950s. He lost her to the gates of Heaven in 2019. John was also preceded in death by his parents, Stephen and Catherine; siblings, Rose (Sr. Mary Owen), Kathleen, James, Joseph, and Patricia (Claire), children Elizabeth Ayoub and Catherine Dwyer, and great grandson Tristan West. John is survived and will be missed dearly by his children, Kitty West, Mary Kramer, Theresa Townsend, Molly Hakes and Stephen Cobis, as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family, and many friends. Friends are invited to celebrate John’s life at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD on Friday, August 4 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at Holy Family Catholic Church in Davidsonville, MD on Saturday, August 5 at 11 AM. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton, MD. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Food for the Poor, 6401 Lyons Creek Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. Please take a moment to leave a message for the family by visiting the Memories link on this page.