Howard Blanc Cockrum
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COCKRUM, HOWARD BLANC - age 86, was born on August 7, 1923, in Birmingham, Alabama, and died on February 11, 2010, in Knoxville, Tennessee, after a prolonged illness. Mr. Cockrum grew up in Knoxville and as a boy delivered newspapers in Park City. He graduated from Knoxville High School and was a proud member of the class of 1941. He then attended Carson-Newman College until his schooling was interrupted by World War II. An officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces, Lt. Cockrum travelled to many military bases around the country training for the invasion of Japan, only pausing briefly in Yuma, Arizona, to marry Mildred V. Knight of Dayton, Tennessee, his Carson-Newman sweetheart. When the war ended, Mr. Cockrum enrolled in the University of Tennessee where he received a degree in electrical engineering and then he worked briefly for the Knoxville Utilities Board. In the Korean War, Lt. Cockrum returned to military service as a navigator in B-29 bombers, flying scores of dangerous missions over enemy territory. After the war, Mr. Cockrum began his long career as a business owner in Knoxville: building houses, grading roads, developing real estate and finally owning Duracap Asphalt and Paving Company which he sold upon his retirement in 2001. Early in his career, Mr. Cockrum served as President of the Tennessee Homebuilders' Association. Equal in importance to his successful business career was Mr. Cockrum's dedication to community service. Cumberland Baptist Church, where he was a founding member and long-serving deacon and Sunday school teacher, was the foundation of his life of faith and service. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as a board member of Baptist Hospital and Carson-Newman College. Mr. Cockrum's community service also included sitting on the Knoxville Metropolitan Planning Commission where he served as its Chairman. Howard always appreciated and enjoyed the company of his many lifelong extended family members and friends throughout East Tennessee. Giving thanks for a long life well-lived are surviving members of Mr. Cockrum's family: his wife, Mildred Knight Cockrum; daughter, Charlotte Cockrum; and son, Roy Cockrum all of Knoxville, Tennessee; daughter, Carolyn Cockrum Minear of Lansing, Michigan; grandson, Matthew Minear of Austin, Texas; grandson, Andrew Minear; granddaughter-in-law, Ashley Minear and great-granddaughter Clara Day Minear of Winter Park, Florida. Funeral service will be held 2:00 P.M. Sunday at Cumberland Baptist Church on Western Avenue. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Those wishing to make an expression of gratitude for the life and generosity of Howard B. Cockrum are encouraged to make a donation to the Mildred K. Cockrum Scholarship Fund: Carson-Newman College, C-N Box 72017, Jefferson City, TN 37760. The family will receive friends 4-7:00 P.M. Saturday at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel. www.rosemortuary.com.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Feb. 12 to Feb. 13, 2010.
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