The Coastal Star

By Jane Smith

    HIGHLAND BEACH — John Henry Cochrane II was 88 when he  died at home on April 14 from complications of COPD. 

    “He was the most kind, sweet and gentle person,” said his wife, Shirley. “He had a way about him that made everyone feel comfortable around him.”

    Mr. Cochrane was born in Chicago on Jan. 31, 1926, to the Rev. John and Elisabeth Boyd Cochrane. His father was a Presbyterian minister.

    He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II on the Marshall Islands and graduated from Northwestern University in 1951. He then spent a career at the Illinois Bell Telephone Co., where his latest position was as a field manager. He was able to retire in his 50s.

    He married Bernette Carlson on Sept. 9, 1949. She died from cancer in 2004.

    Shirley had met the Cochranes before his first wife died. “They were motor-home people,” she said. 

    “We met (again) through friends. They introduced us — a widow and widower,” Shirley said.  

    “We thought about not getting married and just living together, but that wouldn’t be a good example for the kids,” she said. She has two adult daughters, Pam Thomas and Debra Kraus.

    Mr. Cochrane was married for the second time on July 14, 2008, at the First Presbyterian Church in Pompano Beach.

    “The pink church,” Shirley said.

    In addition to his wife, his survivors are four children, son Dr. Bruce Cochrane and wife Dianne of Watertown, Wis.; son Brett Cochrane and wife Kristen of Chicago; daughter Diane Cochrane Majeski and husband Brian of Tenafly, N.J.; and son John H. Cochrane III and wife Lisa of Pasadena, Calif.; two brothers, James Cochrane of Lake Geneva, Wis., and David Cochrane of Wild Rose, Wis.; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

    A memorial service was set for late April at the First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach. 

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