Seaside, CA – William "Bill" H. Cockerham, age 81, died on June 28, 2013 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, surrounded by his family. Bill was born on October 2, 1931 in Magnolia, Mississippi to Edgar and Jessie Cockerham.|
Bill married Mary J. Anderson in 1955, and celebrated 68 years of marriage on April 10, 2013. resulting in seven children.
In 1952, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars; was awarded a Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Gallant Cross with Palm, Korean Service Medal, and several other honors and medals. After 30 years of military service Bill retired from the Army as a Sergeant Major in 1982.
Bill began driving buses for Monterey-Salinas Transit in 1983 and retired for a second time in 1996. He was a member of New Hope Baptist Church, the Masonic Peninsula Lodge No. 46, the American Legion Post 591, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, #8679. He was also an avid Dodgers enthusiast.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edgar Cockerham; mother, Jessie Cockerham; brothers: Murray F. Miller, Emmitt G. Cockerham, J.D. Cockerham, Earl R. Cockerham, Isaac L. Cockerham and sisters: Sara Miller, Helen Cockerham and Rose Cockerham.
Bill is survived by his wife, Mary J. Cockerham of Seaside, CA; sons: Wiliam H. Cockerham, Jr. of Oakley, CA, Perry L. Cockerham of Riverside, CA, Michael E. Cockerham of San Diego, CA, John L. Cockerham of Duluth, MN and Carl F. S. Cockerham of Las Vegas, NV; daughters, Diana E. Cockerham of Marina, CA, Patricia J. Woods of Vallejo, CA; sister, Hazel L. Clark of Port Gibson, MS; brother, Leroy J. Cockerham of New Orleans, LA; 14 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and many other family and friends.
Bill was a devoted husband and loving father who will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.
Visitation is on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 4:00-8:00 PM at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel at Mission Memorial Park, 1915 Ord Grove, Seaside, CA 93955.
Graveside service is on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:00 noon, also at Mission Memorial Park.
Please visit www.seasidefunerals.com to offer online condolences.
Published in The Monterey Herald on July 7, 2013