Marleah Kaufman Hobbs

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Marleah Kaufman Hobbs, 97, died at her home in Oxford on Sunday, April 5, 2020, after a lengthy illness. Her family will later determine a date to gather and celebrate her life. Her ashes will be interred at First Presbyterian Church in Oxford. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 

Marleah was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1923 and was the daughter of Miriam Rhodes Kaufman and Charles Edward Kaufman. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Mississippi. While in Boulder, in 1943, she met and married Edward (Ed) Henry Hobbs, III., from Selma, Ala., who was attending the Navy Japanese Language School.   

The Hobbses moved to Oxford in 1949 where they began their family, and moved to Auburn, Ala., in 1967 when Ed was hired as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Auburn University. At Auburn University, Marleah was a Professor of Art and served as Interim Chair of the Art Department. She was instrumental in the groundbreaking of the Jules Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts at Auburn. After the death of her husband, Hobbs returned to Oxford in 2009 to live with her Mississippi family.  

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Marleah was a gifted artist and teacher, a loving wife and mother. She was a talented and adventurous cook and grew magnificent gardens. She loved all animals. As a girl in Colorado, she collected horned toads. In her adult life, she kept her birdfeeders packed with seeds. She was a pet mother to Shelties, Brandy, and Barkley, and several oddball cats. Throughout her life, Hobbs kept many friends and enjoyed their company. Until the end, she was wickedly funny, bringing joy and laughter to her family and caregivers.  

Marleah is survived by her four children, Milton Dannelly Hobbs (Lenore Ethridge), Miriam Whatley Montgomery (Guy), Edward Henry Hobbs, IV. (Elizabeth Dillon), and Vivian Blair Hobbs (John T Edge). Hobbs’s grandchildren are Milton “Dee” Hobbs, Miriam Wicker (Kyle), Laura Scott (Paxton), Kirsten Schriner (Frank), Stephen Whatley (Kelly), Edward Hobbs, V., Dillon Hobbs, and Jesse Edge. She has nine precious great-grandchildren.  

The Hobbs family thanks angels-on-earth Janie Smith, Edna Tallie, Bobbie Hervey, Ethel Goolsby, Tammy Cooper, and Encompass Health Hospice of Oxford for their tender and dutiful care.   

In honor of her cat, Pepper, Hobbs’s “constant companion,” who never left her side, the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Mississippi Critterz ( 413 McElroy Drive, Oxford, MS, 38655; or the University of Mississippi Museum ( via the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS, 38655. 

For additional information or to leave an online condolence, please call 234-7971 or visit