David Ayrton Cobb was born March 4, 1937 in Pensacola, Florida. His father James Outterson “Joe” Cobb was in Naval Flight Training there, living with his wife Enid, David’s mother. Joe retired as a Rear Admiral in 1975, dying at 97 in Falls church, Virginia, in 2008. He is interred at the cemetery at the U. S. Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1933. While Joe was on assignment with NATO in Naples, Italy, Enid died at 39 and is buried there.
David attended multiple schools as his father was transferred with the Navy, graduating from Severn School in 1955, a boy’s boarding high school in Maryland. He entered the U. S. Naval Academy in 1955, resigning two years later, primarily the result of an anti-war philosophy developed during hours reading in the library of nearby St. John’s College. To satisfy his military service obligation, he joined the U. S. Coast Guard, serving as a Hospital Corpsman until his Honorable Discharge in 1962.
In 1962 David married Diane Kennedy of Laguna Beach, California. They had two sons, Ross and Stephen. Ross is currently a winemaker living with his wife Cindy and daughter Kennedy in Occidental, California. Stephen is a businessman living with his wife Barbara, daughters Gracey and Georgia, and son Walker in Dallas, Texas.
David enrolled in San Francisco State University, earning a B.A. in biology in 1966. He then entered graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, from which he subsequently received an M.A. in biology. In 1972, he joined Bechtel Corporation’s Scientific Development Division working on projects in North America including Alaska and Puerto Rico.
Taking a break from Bechtel in 1987, David enrolled in Stanford University, receiving in 1988 an M.A. in Philosophy of Science and a high school teaching credential. He taught biology at Menlo School in Menlo Park, and conducted science teacher education programs at Monterey Bay Aquarium and U. C. Davis’s Bodega Marine Laboratory. He returned to Bechtel’s R&D Division in 1996, working with their Coastal Engineering Group on international assignments in Sumatra, Borneo, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, and China.
Retiring from Bechtel in 2002, David and Diane concentrated on the Coastlands Vineyard they had started together in Occidental in 1988. In 2003 they formed with their sons Cobb Family Wines, now a 2000 case operation managed by Ross. Diane died at Coastlands Vineyard in 2006, where her ashes were distributed. David married Jane Everett “Bunny” Kehl of Napa, California, in 2008. They now live in Belvedere, California.
David and Diane created in 1984 the existing Southern Marin Lacrosse Club which he coached until 1987. David’s current activities include boating, riding his mare, and managing Belvedere Foliar LLC, an agricultural chemical development company he formed in 2015. He is a member of the San Francisco Yacht Club and Il Cenacolo Italian cultural club in San Francisco, a partner in Grindstone Joe’s boating club in the Sacramento Delta, and a member of the Wednesday Riders and the Sonoma County Trail Blazers riding clubs.