Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Services

3195 Atlanta Highway, Athens, GA


Leita Castellaw Cobb

October 16, 1936October 7, 2019
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On Monday, October 7, 2019, Leita Castellaw Cobb passed away at the age of 82 after succumbing to cancer.

Leita was born October 16, 1936 in Commerce, GA to George Wilburn and Wilma Nix Castellaw. She came of age in small-town Georgia, where she enjoyed dancing, spending time with family and friends, and being active in her church community. She especially enjoyed visiting the family farm in Apple Valley, GA.

Leita was raised in the Commerce First Baptist Church, where, at the age of 12, she began a lifelong love of singing in the choir. Her faith and love of hymns was a powerful influence that inspired her every day of her life. She later attended the Winterville United Methodist Church, where she continued to sing in the choir and was a Sunday School teacher for 22 years. Since 1988, she was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Athens where she sang in the choir, served as a Lay Caller, prepared homecooked meals for Interfaith Hospitality visitors, and fulfilled other roles within the church. She retired from the University of Georgia School of Social Work following 25 years of service. Leita derived great pleasure from assisting the graduate students and faculty of the MSW program. She was incredibly devoted to her beloved Georgia Bulldogs, and held season tickets to many sports. She cheered on the football team as they beat Tennessee last Saturday night.

Leita was a Cub Scout Den Mother for many years, and served in numerous organizations, including the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Piedmont Athens Regional Auxiliary. Always seeking to help those in need, she donated generously to many charitable organizations, including several veteran’s groups. She gave land to the city of Winterville for community improvement and enhancement. Her ability to find someone that needed cheering up often resulted in her baking one of her legendary cakes and delivering it with flowers and a personalized card.

Known to her family as Mama Leita, she is survived by her five children; Ralph Pardue (Sheryl), Phyllis Kiser (Jerry), Jon Pardue, Jennifer Wilma Pittard, Sam Pittard (Nicole), and her stepdaughter Sharon Cobb Smith. She is also survived by nine grandchildren; Allison Freeman (Chase), Charlie Kiser (Brittany), Grady W. Pittard, Kevin Pardue, Amanda Herl, Wes Smith (Catherine), Lauren Konigsberg (Dave), Brittany Bradley (Zach), Emily Glaze (Sam), and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, cousins, and adored friends. She is also survived by her sister, Virginia Jones, and brother Steve Castellaw (Karen).

She was preceded in death by three husbands, Robert Cobb of Mount Vernon, Judge Grady Pittard Jr. of Winterville, and Philip Pardue of Commerce. A gathering of family and friends will be held 6:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday, October 10, 2019 in Bernstein Funeral Home.

The funeral service will be held 2:00 PM Friday, October 11, 2019 in Athens First Presbyterian Church with Reverend Dr. Ryan Baer, Reverend Margaret Davis and Reverend Jerry Kiser officiating.

For those who wish to attend, a graveside funeral service will be held at 5:30 PM Friday, October 11, 2019 in Grey Hill Cemetery in Commerce, GA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Leita’s name to the First Presbyterian Church of Athens or Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens.

Leita was an avid lover of music, animals and beautiful photography. Her smile was infectious. She never met a stranger and had a generous and compassionate spirit. She loved everyone and was loved by all. She will be greatly missed.

Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.


  • Wes Smith, Active Pallbearer
  • Zach Bradley, Active Pallbearer
  • Sam Glaze, Active Pallbearer
  • Dave Konigsberg, Active Pallbearer
  • Chris Castellaw, Active Pallbearer
  • Brooks Castellaw, Active Pallbearer
  • Matt Whatley, Active Pallbearer
  • Billy Pittard, Active Pallbearer
  • Cal Jones, Active Pallbearer

  • First Presbyterian Church of Athens
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens


  • A Gathering of Family and Friends Thursday, October 10, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, October 11, 2019
  • Graveside Funeral Service Friday, October 11, 2019


Leita Castellaw Cobb

have a memory or condolence to add?

Heidi Tingelhoff

October 11, 2019

To the family of Leita,
May you find comfort in knowing that Leita rests in the arms of her Savior. I pray that your memories of her bring you peace and joy in the days to come. Our DAR chapter will greatly miss her!

Carole Murphy

October 10, 2019

Ralph, Phyllis, Jon, Jennifer, and Sam,

We are deeply saddened to learn of your Mother's death.
We met Leita at the Winterville United Methodist Church when Rev. Bob Murphy was appointed there as Pastor. Our first meeting with the PPR Comm. at the Parsonage was interesting. A lady came behind me and hugged me graciously. I thought, " This is the most friendly church we have ever served." It turns out that she thought I was Leita. We were actually 11th cousins, Grady was her 11th cousin and I was their 11th cousin so, we had reason to resemble one another. The link was our WARE Ancestry. Leita was one of the most beautiful persons, both inwardly and outwardly I have ever known. She was kind to everyone. Her hair and make up were always in place. She was always dressed to a T, and her crystal blue eyes twinkled as she spoke to people. She was the epitomy of a dignified, Christian, Southern lady. I was the Choir Director and she sang in the Choir. She had a beautiful, Soprano voice which she loved to use. We had a grand trio consisting of Leita, Betty Patton, and myself. Our voices blended beautifully and we sang for many ocassions. I can still hear her "chuckle". She was never critical, or judgemental of others. I will miss her as she was a dear friend. Bob and I hold each one of you close in our thoughts and prayers as you face the coming difficult days. May God bring you comfort and peace . Carole and Rev. Bob Murphy

Sharon Hix

October 10, 2019

We wanted to send our condolences to the family of Leita. She went to school in Commerce with my Aunt Jean Sweetser (Burroughs) and my mom Evelyn Hix (Burroughs). Also, I went to school with Sam. Please know that we are thinking of everyone during this difficult time.

Guy Dean Benson

October 10, 2019

Our James Pittman DAR Chapter in Commerce, GA loves and appreciates all that Leita did as a loyal member and leader.

Joni Farmer Ingram

October 9, 2019

So sad to read of Leita's passing. She was so thoughtful and loving and will be missed by her friends in DAR! We were all preparing to send her birthday cards this week. Happy Birthday to Leita in heaven...may you Rest in Peace! Sending our love & prayers to the family, Joni, Regent, James Pittman DAR Chapter, Commerce GA

Anna Lester Thornton

October 9, 2019

To Mrs. Leita's children... I am saddened by the news of her passing, but rejoice in knowing she is singing and dancing with her Lord and Saviour. I cherish the memories of such a capable and gracious mother, teacher, mentor and fellow Christian. Love and prayers to you all!

Barbara and Greg Rice

October 8, 2019

Leita was a long time friend and will be remembered and missed by all who loved her sweet smile and joyful kindness! Such a positive influence on every path she crossed. Condolences to her family.💗 Greg and Barbie Rice, Athens, GA.

Joanna Moak

October 8, 2019

I worked with Leita at The University of Georgia School of Social Work back in the late 1990s. She was a wonderful co-worker and delightful person. I know the Lord has his arms around her and her family.

Delores Wages

October 8, 2019

Leita was a sweet lady, She taught my children in Sunday School at Winterville United Methodist Church. She had a beautiful voice, sang in our choir. So sorry to hear of her passing.