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COCHRAN, John Francis
January 29, 1930 – May 2, 2014
John Cochran retained his active curiosity and genuine interest in life and people until his passing at his home in West Vancouver on May 2, 2014 after a brief illness. His passions, beyond his great love of his wife of 57 years, Pieternella (nee Neuteboom), his children Stephanie Forgacs and Alex Cochran (Victoria), and grandchildren Katherine, Eden and Amelia, were many. John had keen interests in natural sciences and the arts, particularly languages and classical music. John was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and grew up in rural Moose Jaw. He attended the University of British Columbia at age 16, and by 1951 he had completed a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Applied Science, both in Engineering Physics. John completed his PHD in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Illinois, Urbana and engaged in post-doctoral work at Oxford University in England, and Leiden University in the Netherlands where he met Pieternella. In 1957, John and Pieternella married and departed for Boston where John taught physics as an Assistant Professor at MIT. In 1965, they moved to Vancouver where John accepted a Professor of Physics position and was a founding member of Simon Fraser University's Physics department. John's achievements in teaching and research were many. John served as department Chair from 1968-74 and Dean of Science 1981-1985. He was also an excellent teacher and inspired many undergraduate and graduate students with his passion for physics and his gentle energy. An active faculty member even beyond his retirement in 1995, John was a member of several boards and committees of national and international organisations in his field. John will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, good friend and mentor, for his great interest in the world around him, and for his achievements in the advancement of science and the sharing of knowledge. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the John F. Cochran Physics Endowment Fund at Simon Fraser University (

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from May 9 to May 10, 2014
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