ShareThis Page
Obituary Stories

Devout Christian from Arona was known as jokester

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 2:06 p.m.

Gerald Cochran was a devout Christian and a loving family man, but he also was a classic older brother.

Cochran's brother, Bill, recalled him asking for help in putting fender skirts on a 1941 Dodge when they were kids. In return, Mr. Cochran promised he would teach his little brother how to drive. When it became clear that had been a ruse, Bill got angry and kicked all of the newly installed skirts off the car.

“He was a jokester,” said his daughter, Kim Tomich.

Gerald V. Cochran of Arona died Thursday, May 24, 2018, of complications related to Parkinson's disease. He was 83.

Mr. Cochran was born July 13, 1934, in Mendon, a son of the late Jesse and Nellie Clegg Cochran. He served in the Air Force as an air police officer.

On June 4, 1955, Mr. Cochran married his late wife of 43 years, Jane A. Sinnamond Cochran. The two met through the church they attended, near Jane's hometown of Apollo.

Later in life, Mr. Cochran returned to the church, according to the Rev. Robert Ross at Heritage Baptist Church in Jeannette, where Mr. Cochran was a member.

“From what he said, his life was a complete change once he came to the church and began sharing his faith with other people,” Ross said. “He had a warm smile and a real concern for others. If someone had a need, he would make sure everyone was praying for them.”

Mr. Cochran spent his career working for U.S. Steel in Duquesne. Tomich said when her father wasn't working, he was taking the family on fishing and camping trips to Pymatuning, Keystone and Twin Lakes. He did not have a lot of one-on-one time with his children, but she said they enjoyed the time they had.

Mr. Cochran carried his sense of humor throughout his life.

“He volunteered at the Baldock nursing home until he couldn't do it anymore,” Tomich said. “But even at 88, he would say, ‘I'm not old; I'm going to visit the old people.' ”

Even in the days before he died, when Mr. Cochran did not have much physical ability, the humor was present.

“I asked him to do something to make me laugh,” his daughter said. “He couldn't do much besides move his mouth a little bit, but he flipped his tongue side to side. He was always joking around no matter what.”

Mr. Cochran is survived by two sons, Jeff L. Cochran of Derry and Tim J. Cochran of Ruffsdale; two daughters, Pam Foster of Yukon and Kimberly A. Geary Tomich of Arona; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. today at Beatty-Rich Funeral Home, 136 Main St., Madison, where an 11 a.m. funeral service will take place Wednesday, followed by private interment at Madison Union Cemetery.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me