Carl Lee (Cobb) Gilly, age 98, passed away Friday, August 7, 2020.
A graveside memorial service was held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at the Floyd County Memorial Park in Floydada. Rance Young officiated.
Arrangements were under the personal care of Moore-Rose Funeral Home of Floydada.
Carl Lee (Cobb) Gilly was born September 16, 1921 on the family farm north of Floydada.
His dad, John Vincent Gilly, came to Floyd County in 1900 and lived about two years in a half-dugout before returning to Virginia in 1906 to marry Miss Mary Anna Parsons. He brought her back to a two-room house he had built and they settled into life on the Plains. They had five children of whom Cobb was the youngest. He died on August 7, 2020.
Vince Gilly purchased the original farmland for $1 dollar per acre. That same land has been in the family now for 120 years.
In recognition of the spirit of those who settled, farmed and developed Floyd County, Cobb was honored as Pioneer Man of the Year in 2015.
Cobb rode to school at Cedar Hill on horseback and liked to tell his family about his lunch – a biscuit with jelly. He also liked to play basketball.
After high school, good jobs were very scarce. And, the admonition – GO WEST, YOUNG MAN – plus, the possibilities of employment, seemed the thing to do. At 19 Cobb and two of his buddies pooled their money, less than $50, and drove to California in his old Dodge truck. Upon arrival in California, Cobb found a job washing dishes, then later a job at Douglass Aircraft as a riveter assembling airplane fuselages. The pay was 88-cents an hour, which wasn’t all that bad, he said.
After about two years, Cobb came back to Floydada and courted Lois Beard, the oldest daughter of Orb and Sarah Lackey Beard. A few months later he and Lois met in Flagstaff, Arizona where they were married on February 1, 1942 and returned to California.
In October of 1942, Cobb joined the Navy. He served as the navigator of a 6-man flight crew on a PV-1 Ventura Patrol Bomber. He was stationed in Guam, the Philippines and Solomon Islands. The plane was used for anti-ship patrol, photographic reconnaissance and bombing runs. In 1996, 50 years after his service to his country, Cobb was awarded the U.S. Air Medal and the Gold Star for meritorious achievement while participating in combat aerial flight.
After the South Pacific, Lois joined him in Seattle where he met his 18-month-old daughter for the first time. They later returned to Floyd County where Cobb, and his brother, Gene Gilly, worked the Gilly Family Farm.
Cobb and Lois raised two daughters, Barbara and Cathy. Lois Beard Gilly died in 1995. Those who knew Cobb were well aware of his love for a good joke, his friends and his family. Besides taking pride in his children and grandchildren, he relished “getting a good deal” on any, if not every, purchase. Among his extravagances in life – of which there were few – were automobiles and clothes.
If you ask Cobb about highlights from his life, he would likely say the best trip was the 2012 South Plains Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to visit all of our nation’s memorials. They were met by honor guards everywhere and Cobb said that complete strangers would come over, shake their hands, and say, “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!”
He has shared his life the last 24 years with Wanda Williams, who lost her husband, Aldean, in 1996. Wanda has been his companion, friend and the focus of his attention since. Her daughters and their husbands – Sarah and Kim Hinsley, the late Linda and Michael Hinsley, have been his extended family for these years, as well.
Cobb is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara Christian and Dan Dwelle, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Cathy and Steve Steger, Kenedy, Texas; three grandchildren and spouses, David and Angel Christian, Amarillo, Texas, Heidi Steger Reed and Trey Reed, San Antonio, Texas, and Josh and Wendy Steger, Sachse, Texas; and five great-grandchildren, Carly Christian, Lubbock, Texas, Cason Christian, Amarillo, Texas, Caitlyn Reed, San Antonio, Texas, Carson Reed, San Antonio, Texas, and Kaia Steger, Sachse, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.moore-rose.com.