WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Steve Cobb loved the outdoors. He grew up on the family farm on Wallace Cobb Road in Wiggins. He raised cattle. He grew vegetables. He liked to hunt, and he loved to hike in the mountains.
But on Monday, he, along with Brandon Ricks of Oklahoma, died when the helicopter in which they were riding crashed in the DeSoto National Forest while working a controlled burn.
"We live not far from Airey Tower and we were working in the yard - my wife and me - and we saw the smoke rising and we said, our son in law is control burning again," said father in law Leland Redmond. "We got the call about 3:30 that something had gone wrong."
Redmond knew the work could be dangerous, but this was a shock.
"Having been in the military, I realize there's a danger in just about anything you do, particularly when you're flying, but never expected that to happen."
After graduating from Mississippi State University, Cobb began with the U.S. Forest Service in 1983. It was his life. But, he was already thinking about something beyond career.
"We had dinner with them I think a couple of weeks ago, and he was talking about retiring," Leland said. "And he mentioned about retiring in May and his birthday was this past December."
Cobb was a deacon at First Baptist Church in Wiggins. He was also a Sunday School teacher. The family's devotion to the church will be the basis for ultimate healing with the family.
""They are coping with their faith in Christ," he said. "He was a devout Christian. That's how they're coping and they believe he's in a better place."
Leland added that his personality was infectious.
"The fact that he was outgoing, honest, hardworking, and whatever he said you could take it as a fact," he said. "His word was his bond. And people knew that."
Cobb was only 55 years old and leaves behind a wife, son, daughter and three grandchildren.
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