Cobden loses battle with cancer
April 15, 2009
Mabel Elizabeth Wheaton Cobden, “Liz, Wheatie and Betty,” 87, passed away April 11, while at her Prescott, Ariz., home from pancreatic cancer. She resided at Osprey Village, Amelia Fla., from 2006 to 2009.
Elizabeth was born Oct. 7, 1921, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Mabel Etta Chew and Theodore Corson Wheaton. She grew up in Rutherford, N.J., attended Briar Cliff Manor, Barnard College, and the University of Colorado ” Boulder, where she met and married John “Ty” Patterson, of Denver. They had three children, Sandra Lynn, living in Frisco, Geoffrey William (deceased) and Peter (deceased) and lived in Denver, until her divorce in 1953 when she returned to New Jersey. She was married to David Hobin (deceased) 1955 to 1966. While on a cruise she met George Cobden. They married in 1967 and were together until 1987 when George passed away at age 94. They lived in Boca Raton, Fla., in the winters and Stone Harbor, N.J., in the summer until moving to Sun CIty West, Ariz., in 1983. Once again on a cruise, she met John McCune. They were together from 1989 to his death in 2004. They designed and built a home in Prescott, Ariz., where they lived in the winter and summered on Nantucket.
She was a mother, grandmother and homemaker for 66 years but her real career was as an adventurer. She found her avocation at the age of 16 on a cruise to Cuba with two school friends. She was never happier than when she was on her way to some exotic location on a cruise ship or behind the wheel of a touring car. She took her three children on a three-month camping trip across the U.S. and Canada in 1962 without ever having previously set up a tent. She drove with George Cobden from Durban to Cape Town, South Africa, in the 1970s. In 1987 she started to take ballroom dancing lessons which became her passion right to the end of her life. She was the benefactor of the Ballroom Dance Academy on Amelia Island, Fla., bringing ballroom dancing to the youth of that Island.
She brought her enthusiasm for life and constant smile to everyone and every situation in her life. She experienced many difficult times, yet held on to the beauty and joy of life’s adventure. Her generosity touched the lives of many. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.
She is survived by her brother, Edward C. Wheaton, of Millville, N.J., daughter, Sandra Mortensen, PO Box 2228, Frisco, Co 80443, seven grand children and 10 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a half brother, Theodore C. Wheaton III, and two sons, Geoffrey and Peter Patterson Hobin.
Contributions can be made to:
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The Ballroom Youth academy, PO Box 745, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034; a 501 (c) 3 non profit for the “Elizabeth Scholarship Fund”, benefitting the young ballroom dancers in that community.