During a late summer day on September 11, 1936, Willard and Nelia Cosby, gave birth to their first child, Erna (pronounced Ernie) Cosby in Claiborne County, Tennessee. As a child, he would be given the nickname “Pete” which stuck with him thereafter. Pete grew up between the Chadwell Ridge, Riverside, Big Spring Union, and Poplar Grove communities. He lived in Chadwell Ridge with his grandmother, Minnie (Liford) Brown and great-grandmother, Mary (Chadwell) Liford Cox, who he had a great love for. He attended several one room schools such as Big Spring Union, Riverside, and Poplar Grove until he reached the eighth grade. After his educational career, Pete made a living by working on Wiley Longworth and his son Wiley Jr.’s rolling store, which provided for the community by selling food to those who couldn’t make it to the grocery store. During this period he met the love of his life, Janet Bussell, and they were married on March 21, 1957. Jobs were scarce during this time, so Pete and Janet went to Springfield, Ohio looking for work. He got a job with Hoppes Construction and stayed until he came back to Tennessee to raise his family on a farm that he purchased from Della Cosby in 1965, in the Poplar Grove community.
Pete drove a school bus and worked as head Maintenance at Forge Ridge school, where students affectionately called him papaw, for 38 years. He belonged to Poplar Grove Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, Big Spring Union Lodge #581, and the Knoxville Scottish Rite. Pete also served as a proud member on the board of the Claiborne Farmers Co-op for many years. He loved being around his family and his farm. Pete never met a stranger and always treated everyone with respect.
On December 25, 2020, Pete went home to be with the Lord at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Pete is preceded in death by his father and mother, Willard and Nelia (Brown) Cosby. Also, by brother Nathan Cosby.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Janet (Bussell) Cosby; three children, Marty (Sheliah), Michael (Shari), and Mitchell (Rachel); grandchildren, Brooke, Tyler, Justin, Blake, and Chase; and great-grandchildren, Cash, Kinley, Ember-June, and Toby; brothers and sisters, Susie (Carl) Winkleman, Fred Cosby, Larry (Jeannie) Cosby, Irene Cosby, Glenda Sue (Harold) Elliott, Tony (Judy) Cosby, Judy Blankenship, and Terry Cosby; a host of nieces and nephews, and special great-great niece Joanna Cline; and his beloved Blue Heeler dog, Pearl.
Pallbearers: Brooke (Cosby) Weaver, Tyler Cosby, Justin Cosby, Blake Cosby, Chase Cosby, and Jeff Weaver.
Honorary Pallbearers: Jake Rowe, Dalton Coffey, Kenneth Luckadoo, Ray Keck, Sam Gibson, Rick Keck, Lucas Mize, Bobby Brooks, Ronnie Pittman, Robin Jessie,Eddie Daniels, Earl Daniels, Junior Williams, Larry Howard, Bill Surber, Mike Surber, Stanley Massengill, David Stanifer, Jerry Sexton, Leeroy Cosby, Tommy Cosby, Dan Blankenship, Naamond Jones, Randy Baker, deacons of Poplar Grove Missionary Baptist Church, and members of the Claiborne County Co-op Board of Directors.
The family will have receiving of friends from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at Green Hills Funeral Home.
Services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday December 30, 2020 at Cosby Cemetery in Poplar Grove by Dr. William Boyd Bingham III with Judge John McAfee reading the eulogy and a special prayer by Stanley Massengill. Masonic Rites will be observed. The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. until the funeral hour at Cosby Cemetery.
He will be laid to rest, overlooking his home, on the farm he so loved.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his honor to Cosby Cemetery (300 Cosby Lane, Harrogate, TN 37752).
Green Hills Funeral Home, Middlesboro, is honored to serve the Cosby Family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of PETE COSBY, please visit our floral store.