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Obituary for William John Cochran

William John Cochran

August 17, 1940 – October 30, 2017

William John Cochran passed away on October 30, 2017. Bill was born in August 1940 to Reanous and Annie Lee Cochran. A native of Coos Bay, Oregon, he attended Marshfield High School (‘58). Upon graduation, he volunteered for the Army and spent three years in the service, most of that time in Korea. He was honorably discharged in 1961.

Having never been much of a student, he went to work for the Bureau of Land Management. After battling the cold and poison oak, he decided college was a better alternative. He attended Southwestern Oregon Community College and then finished his BS in General Social Science at University of Oregon (‘67).

While at U of O, he met Judy Ferguson when he helped her move into the building where he was already a tenant. Their first date at Dunkin’ Donuts was a success, and they married in 1968.

A product of the 60s with a desire to serve, Bill spent more than 30 years in various social work positions. He worked for the elderly, families, and children, mainly in the McMinnville community. He was well-respected among his clients, and received an award in 1990 for intervening in a dangerous situation to save a client, even at risk to his own life.

After retiring in 1998, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, Judy (including trips to Hawaii, Paris, Italy, Canada, and Greece), visiting different coffee shops, gardening, and especially thrift shopping–his biggest coup being a surprisingly stylish suit purchased for his son’s wedding for under $5.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Judy Cochran; his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, John, Heather, and Arya Cochran; brother and sister-in-law Reanous and Sandy Cochran of Springfield, OR; and sister and brother-in-law Pat and Allen Kelley of North Carolina.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.


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