James Rufus Cobern, age 73, passed away peacefully at home July 29, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Rufus was born in San Saba, Texas on August 30, 1937 to Lillian (Gage) and L.P. "Slim" Cobern. He was a beloved coach, teacher and mentor and influenced the lives of hundreds of former students from Comstock to Santa Ana, to Paint Rock and Lometa, where he retired in1992, to his ranch on the Cherokee Creek near Bend. He was a member of the Bend Church of Christ and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason with the Masonic Lodge of Paint Rock, Texas.
Rufus married Lee Ellen West on September 13, 1958 in San Saba, Texas. She preceded him in death on August 6, 1989. He married Tommye Mae (January) Marley on August 30, 1995 in Bend. Rufus was also preceded in death by his father, L.P. "Slim" Cobern. Survivors include his wife, Tommye Cobern of Bend; his mother, Lillian Cobern of San Saba; his daughter, Vickilee (Cobern) Peters and son-in-law David Peters of Duncanville; and his son, Rusty Cobern and daughter-in-law Pam (Quirk) Cobern of Austin. He is also survived by five grandchildren; Ryan and Garrett Peters and Chase, Mason and Aubrey Lee-Ellen Cobern.
When Rufus and Tommye married, his family was expanded. Rufus loved Tommye’s children as if they were his own. He was preceded in death by son, Wade Marley. Survivors include son, Kerry Marley of Katy; daughter, Tanya (Marley) Chalfant and son-in-law, Jeffrey Chalfant of Austin. He is also survived by grandson, Adam Marley and wife Rebekah (Ferrel) Marley of Huffman; granddaughter, Lorie (Marley) Williams and husband Oscar Williams also of Huffman; grandson, Kort Marley and wife Morgan (Kreager ) Marley of Atascocita; granddaughter, Ashley Chalfant; and great grandchildren, Christiana Williams, and Kameron and Kandance Marley and sister-in-law Sammie (Lemmons) Eddleman and Charles Eddleman of Evant.
A memorial service will be held for Rufus at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 6 at the Lometa Church of Christ, Lometa, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Lee and Rufus Cobern Scholarship Fund care of Lometa ISD, P.O. Box 250, Lometa, TX 76853.