Gary Donald Cobb

gary cobb
Gary Donald Cobb, of Fairfax, VA, passed away at home on September 24, 2022.

Loving father of Stacy Auka, Kristi Buxmann (Rob), and Vicki Lacy (Pat), he was also a dear brother to the late Wayne Cobb (Cherrill), Rosalyn Parker (Dave) and Carolyn Wind (Mike). A caring Uncle to seven, he was a cherished Grandfather of nine and Bonus Grandpa to many.

Gary was born and raised on a cattle ranch in the sand hills of Nebraska and was a 1960 graduate of Colorado State University. After a stint with the Army, Gary began his career with the federal government, achieving Senior Executive Service (SES) and was honored with multiple awards. He retired in 1996 as a SES6 from the Department of the Interior.

Gary had a passion for learning and a love of travel, whether attending horse races, football games or, enjoying good food with family across the U.S. Celebrating 35 years of sobriety, Gary was an active mentor in his community, serving on the Penderbrook Homeowners Association Board as Treasurer for many years until the time of his passing.

Preceding him in death were his beloved mother and father, Maxine Marion Turnbull and William Moses Cobb, and Gary’s former wife, mother of his three daughters, Sharon Cobb.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 2 PM at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 2589 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, VA 22181. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the St. Joseph’s Indian School out of Chamberlain, SD at or the American Cancer Society at

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Cobb Family & Friends,
    I met Gary a little over 3 years ago. He introduced himself, we talked, and despite 27 year age difference we discovered we were kindred spirits. When I’d tell a story, he’d chuckle out loud and say me too – albeit, much more eloquently than that. I envied his curiosity. He had a passion for learning always diving into topics he hadn’t explored and he enjoyed debate. As you know, your brother, Dad, Grandpa and friend was a compassionate man. He helped me navigate some new roads and held me to a plan we mutually agreed I needed to take to improve things in my life – not an easy task as I can be stubborn and pig headed when not being stubborn. Gary was patient though but also persistent. I will never forget my friend and in a sense, my shadow brother in life. Whether we laughed over something silly, or debated politics or economics, each moment was meaningful. RIP my friend – I still can’t get the air fully back in my lungs from the shock that God called you home. See you on the flip side.

  2. Gary has been our neighbor since 2012. We always loved hearing his life stories & seeing his caring smile. He brought warmth & kindness to our building- we miss him greatly.

  3. Sorry for your loss, Gary was a kind, loving humble man. He shared openly and honestly how God worked in his life. He wanted to share with others the gifts and promises of hope for others who may be struggling. Gary encouraged others to keep pressing on that were finding some transformation. I will miss Gary in our fellowship. Rest in peace, in our Father’s loving embrace.

  4. Our cousin “Gary” was the best story teller of our family. He was always the “Fun” of all our family gatherings. Gary traveled many miles of adventure and knew no stranger. He could visit with anyone. We love you and see you later. Our Love and Condolences Diane n Brett (Nebraska family)

  5. I remember my dad loved going to the beaches with his family. I remember as we were growing up going to Ocean City and Myrtle beach. As us girls grew up with our own families, he absolutely loved renting a big house so that all of us and the grandchildren could spend time at the beaches. Love, Stacy

  6. I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the Cobb family for the loss of your father, grandfather, brother, uncle and inlaws.
    Gary was a selfless man, exemplified humility and cared for all whom he has met.
    Gary was a man of wisdom, quick wit, a true gentleman and possessed great character admired by many.
    His love for all and all his life’s passions was non wavering.
    Like all of us, our time is valuable. Through his generosity, Gary found time for everyone. Gary wasn’t much on sitting still.
    Sometimes I can’t find the words to express the gratitude and appreciation I have of Gary for being a part of my life for almost 13 years.
    Gary diverted me from the lost path I was on, to one that was paved with hope. Gary is largely responsible for where I’m at today in my life, a life I wanted but but I thought wasn’t achievable. I learned so much from him.
    I have witnessed first hand the lives of many he has touched and the impact it has made.
    Gary was a mentor, a confidant and most importantly, my friend.
    Thank you Gary!!
    Love always,
    Danny Poole

  7. To Stacy,Kristi,Vicky and family, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. I hope your memories are a comfort as our family has fond memories of Gary.


    Charlene,David Paul, Craig and Blair Gormley

  8. Grandpa Gary was a beautiful soul that walked this earth and was loved by everyone that knew him. I always remember whenever we would go out to eat he would always introduce us grandkids to all the waiters we would meet. He loved telling us stories about growing up on the ranch and what it was like to be a real cowboy. He also enjoyed teaching us how to shoot his 22 rifle into the river and how to drive the old stick shift ford pick-up. Grandpa would always say “to good for you buddy” and that has always been a little joke between us all. He loved and did everything for his three daughters and nine grandkids and if he could do it all over again he would do it in a heartbeat. I love and miss you everyday and I hope Uncle Wayne and Grandma Sharon welcome you with open arms, love you forever and always ~Kayla (Granddaughter)

  9. Grandpa Gary. A kind, generous, smart, witty and too many other adjectives to describe him. He gave nothing but love for everyone he met. One memory that I have of him is around the holidays. Grandpa had a giant sweet tooth and also cursed me with that trait. You could always find him around the cookies and other treats. I’ll never forget him saying to everyone “that’s to good for you buddy”. Grandpa was always there to take me to my appointments and would be the best grandpa every and take me to McDonald’s afterwards before dropping me back off at school. I’ll cherish all of our memories that we had together. I love and miss you grandpa.

  10. My favorite memories of Grandpa Gary are centered around family dinner nights. He shared many amusing stories with us and always ended the evening with a dessert in front of him and a cup of chamomile tea in hand. We will miss you, grandpa! Thank you for all that you’ve done and taught us ❤️


  11. Brother Gary was 16 when I was born and off starting his adult life while I was growing up on the ranch. Our early bonding was over the love of piano playing and music. As I started my banking career, he was an enthusiastic mentor and cheerleader right up to my retirement earlier this year. He was a special, caring and fun brother-in-law to Mike and Uncle to Natalie and Regan. He was always eager to join us at sporting and family events, on trips and holidays, especially Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. We admired his love of learning and researching any number of topics–in great detail and his willingness to share his findings–in great detail. Fortunately, he was reasonably good natured when his sisters would occasionally say “just give me the 30 second recap”. I will greatly miss our conversations and above all, his love for his family.

    Carolyn Wind (sister)

  12. I had only met Gary in the last year. He was passionate about his interests and always wanted to share his love for people and the program. I will miss his enthusiasm, wisdom, and personality. Rest In Peace knowing that you were respected and that you will be missed.

  13. Your Dad was such a treasure! You always felt special when you were in his presence. Al and Gary served Immanuel proudly under Ben Bartell and Mike Magwire. We had such great times together. We will treasure those memories when we socialized together. Your Mom and Dad welcomed us to their lovely home in Oakton often for delightful meals, fellowship and even an overnight during an unexpected ice storm! We are so saddened to hear he has passed but we’re assured he loved the Lord and is spreading his love in his heavenly home ! God bless you all as you celebrate his long and fruitful life! Fondly Al and Joan Ulvog

  14. Q: How would you describe Gary to someone who had never met them?

    A: conscientious gentleman

    adored his grandchildren

    walked the walk

  15. Seven years ago after a meeting, Gary came over to talk about a mutual topic. He suggested we meet for coffee. We did and a few weeks after, we began our journey of Sacred Tuesday Mornings for brunch. Who knew we would become best friends and his favorite label: “Study-Buddies.” We ate and read and talked. From the Ottoman Empire to quantum computing; from events leading up to WWII in Germany and the book December, 1941, we explored different venues including Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs of the Existence of God. His thirst for knowledge and learning was insatiable. He loved asking for the etymology of words; his favorite ones were ‘obsequious’ and ‘sycophant.’ In 2017, I asked him to be my Best Man for my gay marriage (see the picture) because he was free of prejudices and saw the good in all of us. The hole in my Tuesday calendar is only half as big as the hole in my heart where I treasured him in our friendship. With that grief, I share my sympathies with his family who lost a father, brother, Grandpa and Uncle. From the treasure chest of his life, he gave us all memories that are more precious than any gold, jewels, or fortunes found in a treasure chest. For the few years that I was gifted to have him in my life, I am most grateful.

  16. All I have are stories that I’ve heard. We had never met prior. Of those stories, this man is a legend. The image I have painted of him from those few stories is what men should aspire to be. To live his life in a manner that was both authentic to him while still being cherished by all who crossed his path is a feat that is far from common.

    Grandpa Gary, until our energies eventually meet, allow me to thank you for bestowing so many with your physical presence. You are adored and cherished.

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