Jacquelyn Cobbledick, a former Arizona Daily Star assistant city editor and University of Arizona assistant journalism professor, died of natural causes Dec. 20. She was 91.
“She was really important and a wonderful influence for me,” said her daughter Beth Kane, a freelancer and former technical editor/writer for engineering firms.
Cobbledick was hired at the UA in 1969 as associate director of the News Bureau, and in 1974 was appointed an assistant journalism professor after she obtained a master’s degree in journalism from the university.
In the late 1970s, Cobbledick worked as a Star copy editor, and also served as assistant city editor in the 1980s before returning to the copy desk where she remained until retiring in 2008.
“I had the good fortune to be a student of Jackie’s at the UA and then a colleague at the Star,” said Bobbie Jo Buel, former Star editor. “She was a stickler as a copy editor but always constructive and gentle in her criticism — even when she had to explain the same rule of grammar for the second time!”
Sara Hammond, a former Star reporter and now science producer for Arizona Public Media, said Cobbledick was her journalism academic advisor and beginning news writing professor. “She instilled in her students the precision necessary to be a good journalist, both in the reporting and writing.”
“She was quietly persistent and passionate about our profession,” said Hammond.
Tom Walker, a former Star assistant city editor and copy editor, said, “I remember her as a completely professional journalist and an extremely kind and considerate person at the same time.”
Cobbledick also served as state president of Arizona Press Women and president of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.
Cobbledick was born Jacquelyn Staats on Aug. 21, 1925 in Wheeling, West Virginia, and graduated at age 19 from Ohio Wesleyan University. She began as a copy girl at the Cleveland News and climbed to city editor of the Star-Beacon in Ashtabula, Ohio, before moving to Tucson in 1969.
Cobbledick, who was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, William Gordon Cobbledick, is survived by three children and one grandson. No services were held.