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b. July 5, 1911 -
d. December 1, 1983
Our family would like to thank the Port Norris Historical Society for selecting Marie as a 20th Century Legend.
Marie was born July 5, 1911 in the Dillahey House on South Market Street in Port Norris, now the home of John Hamby.
She graduated Port Norris High School in 1929 and Bridgeton Hospital School of Nursing in 1932 as a registered nurse.
If I told you all I know about Marie, you’d say she couldn’t have done all those things, after all, she wasn’t Superwomen. But I do know she was a super woman and a definite asset to her family and community. Marie had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. She loved people and could find something good in almost anyone. Her philosophy was that the good you do always comes back to you; maybe not from the person you do it for, but from some other person or source. She embraced that philosophy throughout her life.
Like Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels, Marie held formal jobs and provided nursing care, all the while putting in many hours at home and at the store. She worked at the Dorchester Shipyard during WW2, and continued there as a summer relief nurse for many years, she substituted for the school nurse in Commercial Township Schools and worked as a County Visiting Nurse. After completing a certification program in infectious diseases at Jersey City Hospital, she worked the Board of Health clinics in Port Norris, did lots of private duty nursing, and made house visits for injections dressings, etc.
She was paid for formal jobs, but in general, would not charge any fixed amount for other services. She took whatever was offered. In addition to cash, some forms of payment personally know of where: fruits and vegetables, haircuts, and jewelry.
The 40s and 50s were the years before 911 and local ambulances. For those without vehicles, in an emergency the NJ State Police was the transportation to the hospital. My most vivid memories are the many emergencies brought right into our store where Marie would triage the person, treat and recommend the next step in their care – see a doctor or call the police for hospital transport. She would pull supplies right off the store shelf. She went through lots of gauze, BFI Powder, iodine, alcohol, and saline solution. In the heyday of oystering, there were often shuckers with shell in eyes or several cut hands or fingers that needed immediate attention.
She was often the first to arrive for births. She delivered one baby two doors down from the store while waiting for a doctor to arrive. As a child this was all very exciting to me, but the most indelible memory was the day, as she was later told, she saved a child’s life. A little boy who lived next door to our store had supposedly drunk coal oil and was outside in the driveway and having convulsions. Marie had someone call police (the phone booth was in our store) she grabbed a bottle of mineral oil, and ran to help. She rode to the hospital with all. The boy lived. Cobb’s Store closed in the early 70’s after Marie was severely injured by a mugger who robbed the store. She spent her last years in Mauricetown as a live in caregiver for Emma Hunter a retired teacher.
Marie died December 1, 1983 at the age of 72.
Samuel Cobb - Click Here
Amy Robbins Boggs, Hope Robbins Odell and Carole (Cobb) Robbins
at th PNHS awards dinner. 11-9-14