Founder of The 17 Steps Gift Store dies

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 27, 2014

Brenda Irby Cobb, founder of The 17 Steps Gift Store in Decatur, passed away on July 18 at the age of 73 after a long fight with breast cancer.

She was born in Meridian, Miss, according to her obituary, and is survived by her husband, James, two daughters, a son and two grandchildren.

There will be a service for her today, July 27, at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory from 1 pm to 4 pm. Cobb founded The 17 Steps gift store in 1981 at a time when many businesses were moving out of the city. She became  well known for her sense of style and her dinner parties.

“Brenda was very artistic and enjoyed decorating her home and gardens,” her obituary says. “Her favorite city to visit was Paris, and she enjoyed traveling there with her daughters Julie and Susan and her other close friends. She was an avid reader, and her family always joked that she it seemed that she wanted to read every book at her favorite library, the Toco Hill Branch of the DeKalb County Library System.”

To read the full obituary, click here.

Today the Atlanta Journal Constitution published a feature obituary about Cobb today as well.

Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne told the AJC, “Brenda was one of a handful of Decatur retailers who staked their flags in our historic commercial business district and worked tirelessly to bring back a thriving retail district.”

To read AJC story, click here.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Patsy Neal

    What a loss to the community! Ms. Brenda was a pioneer in downtown Decatur’s renaissance, and had impeccable taste to boot! I’ll miss Brenda, but will continue to support her, her family, and lovely store. Rest in peace, dear friend.

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