Howard Cochran

Howard C. Cochran, Junior (Mickey) December 24, 1939 December 22, 2012 Howard C. Cochran, Junior (Mickey), 72, of Austin died peacefully at home on Saturday, December 22, 2012. Mickey was born in Sherman, TX on December 24, 1939, the first of four children and only son of Howard C. Cochran and Josephine Gardner Cochran. Mickey lived in several towns in South Texas during his early years while his father served as School Superintendent in the region. He attended junior high and his first years of high school in Hebbronville, where he became an Eagle Scout, played football and began playing the baritone saxophone in both the marching and stage band. He continued these activities when his family moved to Austin in 1956, where he attended McCallum High School, graduating in 1958. He went on to attend the University of Texas on an ROTC Scholarship, later serving in the US Navy Reserves. He graduated from U.T. in 1964 with a dual Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and Business Management. Mickey's first job with the Texas Highway Department (TXDOT) began just after he received his degree, and there he built a long and satisfying career, progressing from his first position with the Materials and Test Division until he retired as Director of the General Services Division 38 years later in 2002. In 1965, shortly after graduating and starting his career, Mickey met his sweet wife, Helen, and they married on May 12, 1967. They started their family and Mickey worked and attended school at night to earn his MBA at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State Univ.) in 1977. During the course of his career, he was also an instructor of finance and marketing on a part-time basis for Austin Community College. In addition to his professional interests, in 1991 he became active in the Austin Society of Karate, where he obtained the level of 5th-Degree Black Belt and was certified by both the All-American Society of Karate and the Wallace Superfoot System. During this time he enjoyed instructing both adults and children, judging at tournaments and emceeing many Black Belt Ceremonies. After retirement, Mickey enjoyed traveling with Helen and spending time with their two daughters and their families. He adored his three grandchildren and took great delight in participating in their lives and watching them grow. They were his "buddies." Mickey was a Lifetime Member of Texas Exes, the UT Alumni Association. While he enjoyed sports in general, he especially loved attending all of the Longhorn Football home games with his wife and family and bought season tickets every year. He loved history, reading, watching westerns, especially John Wayne movies, and was a WWII Fighter Plane enthusiast, taking his family on many field trips to air shows and aircraft carrier exhibits. Mickey was an exceptional and devoted husband with a deep sense of family. He was a loving, generous and caring man of the highest integrity in all areas of his life. Mickey asked very little of others, and was a man family and friends could always count on. During his last years, he was a compassionate caregiver and advocate for his mother. Mickey was preceded in death by his father, Howard C. Cochran, and his sister, Shirley Cochran Pender. He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Helen Cochran; two daughters, Lisa Dow and her husband, Mike and their children, Nicole and Nathan of Austin, and Wendy Cochran and her son, Pierce of Pflugerville; his mother, Josephine Cochran of Austin; two sisters, Carolyn Poling and her husband, Russell of Adkins, TX, and Marilyn Love of Austin; nieces Paige Johnson, Martha and Emily Love; nephews Fredlein Strey, Kevin and Timothy Beutnagel, and Mat Poling; and other family members and devoted friends too numerous to mention by name. Those of us lucky enough to know and love Mickey will always remember his gentle ways, his quick wit and dry sense of humor, his Garfield grin, his intelligence and amazing memory for trivia, his kindness and endless generosity. The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Netaji and his staff at Texas Oncology, and everyone at Lighthouse Hospice for their kind and compassionate care. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 200 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78752; (512) 836-8560. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gethsemane Lutheran Church, JDRF, the ASPCA or the .

Published in Austin American-Statesman from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11, 2013