WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - It is clear that Steve Cobb made an impression as a person and a professional way beyond the borders of his hometown of Wiggins. What was also clear is that he will leave a legacy of hard work and dedication to church and family.
Cobb was one of two people killed on Monday at a U.S. Forest Service controlled burn in the DeSoto National Forest.
The line into First Baptist Church in Wiggins never let up for his visitation on Friday. Hundreds of family members and friends came to share support, stories and plenty of hugs and handshakes.
U.S. Forest Service employees also lined up in honor of their fellow worker and friend. Among those friends was Nancy Brewton. Like everyone else, she was shocked to hear the news of his death.
"After I got the, 'Oh, no. I can't believe it' out of the way, I realized that Steve was face to face with Jesus," Brewton said. "And what a better place to be. I know it's heartache for us, but Steve had such a wonderful faith, and his family has such a wonderful faith that the healing will begin."
The Forest Service knew his value as well.
"He was a wonderful person and employee," said Greta Boley, the Forest Supervisor of National Forests in Mississippi. "He loved the work that he did. He was a firefighter from his heart. He was in his element when he was doing what he was doing, but all of us are hurting, and we will be hurting for a while. It's going to take some time for us to heal."
Cobb, an outdoor enthusiast, was a deacon and Sunday school teacher at this church. He was dedicated to his wife, Cindy, son, Adam, daughter, Jenna Parsons and three grandchildren.
His friend and coworker Don Neal shared a favorite story of his while they were on a working trip in Oregon.
"I remember we had some bears coming in on our camp, and I think everybody was looking at him, a couple of other the big guys, he was a big heavy built guy, to take care of the bears if they came in on us," Neal said. "We were looking for Steve to protect us."