By Laura Tamayo
If you’ve ever driven past the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. and Providence Rd., you most likely know Cory Cobb. Perhaps you don’t know his name or his story, but had heard his jokes, bought the soda he sold or had been relentlessly complimented by him; either way, Cory has had an impact on many Riverview residents. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, he passed away on May 19 at the age of 33 after going into cardiac arrest and suffering a loss of oxygen to his brain.
Cory grew up in Thonotosassa with a brother, Carl Cobb, and two parents, Sherry and Carl Hugee, who passed away in 2018. His aunt, Shamika Cobb, described him as a sweet and funny kid with a reputation of being a comedian, even saying, “Our family name for Cory was the ‘Jamie Foxx’ of the family. He loved to act out a lot of Jamie Foxx’s characters. He always made us laugh.”
Cory’s death caused a wave of confusion across the community, as multiple Riverview locals reported him to seem physically healthy in the days prior to his passing. Many were unaware of the death until a small memorial was set up on the intersection where he once sold drinks and other items. In just a few days, it was overflowing with flowers and other objects that celebrated Cory’s life.
An honoring for Cory was held on May 29, with over 30 community members attending, from the skaters of Riverview to the Walgreens employees. Once coming together, the crowd thanked him for being a constant emblem of hope, unity and friendship.
After a speech commemorating Cory’s life and a few anecdotes told by people who briefly knew him, yellow balloons were released into the air and the goodbyes that people were unable to physically say were completed.
Additionally, Cory’s aunt held an open-casket funeral and formal viewing on the following Thursday, June 4.
Though there will never be enough events to truly emphasize his influence, Cory will always be remembered as a wonderful brother, a loving son and nephew and a best friend to all.