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Joel Robert Cobb

December 14, 1946 ~ July 12, 2020 (age 73)


Joel Robert Cobb, 73, beloved father, welder and fisherman, passed away with his family by his side after a severe stroke on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

Joel grew up on a hobby farm in Grant, Michigan after his older brother left for college and a life overseas.  He enjoyed working on cars from an early age and developed a green thumb by working in several vegetable and rose gardens with his father. 

He graduated from Grant High School in 1965 and soon after married Mary Washburn.  They would soon have three children and lived in the same home alongside many of the same wonderful neighbors in Comstock Park for over 50 years.

Joel was a Journeyman Welder and Master Fabricator and worked for local companies such as Kelvinator, Auto-Die, Rapistan/Siemens-Dematic, American Seating and many other odd jobs over the years including the Montana oil pipeline in 1983.  Joel also used his welding talent to build furniture, create artistic elements and fix any metal object in disrepair.  Some would say he was so talented with his welding skills he could weld two Bubble Gum wrappers together!

Joel’s passions included lake fishing with family and friends, most notably the Grand Rapids Prop Busters during several trips to Canada.  His love for travel included a visit to England to see his only brother after more than twenty years, as well as several vacations to California, Florida and the Upper Peninsula.  He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle throughout Michigan with fellow motorcycle buddies and spending hours working in his vegetable garden.

Joel was a friend to many, and he never turned down anyone that asked him for help.  From welding broken bikes for the neighborhood kids to helping cut down a fallen tree, Joel was always willing to help his neighbors and friends.

Most of all he loved his family and instilled in his children strong values that have served them well.  He will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.

Due to the postponement of Mary’s celebration of life, there will be a combined celebration of life gathering to remember both Joel and Mary on Saturday, ­­­­September 12, 2020 from 3-6pm.  The location of the gathering will soon follow.  Please feel free to forward any photographs or memories you’d like to share to daughter Sara Kavanaugh (

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Sarah Cobb, brother Noel Cobb and wife Mary Cobb (Washburn).  He is survived by daughter Melissa (John) Langlois, son Marc (Becky) Cobb, and daughter Sara (Nick) Kavanaugh; many nieces and nephews; and a proud Papa to his grandchildren, Cassidy and Carter Cobb, Alex and Charlotte Kavanaugh.

Because of Joel’s passion for the skilled trades, the family has designated Kent Career Technical Center for memorial contributions.  More information on how to contribute will be added soon.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joel Robert Cobb, please visit our floral store.


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