George Moffett Cochran

Staunton, Virginia


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COCHRAN, Justice George Moffett, 98, husband of Lee (Stuart) Cochran of Staunton, died Saturday, January 22, 2011 at his residence. He was born April 20, 1912 in Staunton, a son of the late Peyton and Susie (Robertson) Cochran. He graduated from the University of Virginia (B.A. 1934, LL.B. 1936). As an alumnus, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the Raven Society. He served as president of the University of Virginia Law School Alumni Association and as a trustee of its Law School Foundation. After two years with a law firm in Baltimore, Md., he returned to practice law in Staunton. He served on active duty with the United States Navy from 1942 to 1946, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. On returning from the Navy, he practiced with his father Peyton Cochran until 1964 when he was one of the founding partners of the law firm of Cochran, Lotz and Black. He served as president of the Virginia Bar Association, 1965 to 1966, and as a member of the Constitutional Revision Commission of Virginia, 1968 to 1969. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a fellow of the American College of Probate Law, a charter fellow of the Virginia Bar Foundation, and a member of the Judicial Council of Virginia. George Cochran served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1948 to 1966 and during his last term was chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee. He served in the State Senate, 1966 to 1968. He was chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Centennial Commission of Virginia, a member of the Board of Visitors of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1960 to 1968, a trustee of Mary Baldwin College, 1967 to 1981, a trustee of the Virginia Historical Society and a member of the Board of Trustees of Stuart Hall for 31 years during which he served as a chairman for 17 years. He was a former chairman of the board and founder of Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia. For many years he served on the vestry and at the time of his death was a trustee of Trinity Episcopal Church. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Planters Bank and Trust Company, Staunton, Va. from January 14, 1947 to September 30, 1969, and as president of the bank from January 8, 1963 to September 30, 1969. Justice Cochran was appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia by Governor Mills E. Godwin Jr., qualifying on October 1, 1969, and was subsequently elected and re-elected by the General Assembly. Justice Cochran retired from the Court on April 20, 1987. He and his wife received the Outstanding Virginian Award in 1995. In addition to his beloved wife of 62 years, family members include two sons and daughters-in-law, Moffett and DuPre Cochran of New Canaan, Conn. and Stuart and Emily Cochran of Staunton; four grandchildren, Carter Cochran and his wife, Jodie, of Charleston, S.C., Alexander Cochran, Peyton Cochran and Lee Cochran, all of New York; and two great-grandchildren, Caroline and Kate Cochran. A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 in Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton, by the Rev. Dr. Paul Nancarrow and Rev. John D. Lane. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends at the residence following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Frontier Culture Museum, 1290 Richmond Ave., Staunton, Va. 24401; Stuart Hall, 235 W.

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Dear Lee,
I was so happy I could bring my mother by to visit both you and George not so long ago in August of 2009, because she died two months later quite unexpectedly. Now George has gone and the world has lost one of her greatest citizens. I'm sorry for you but, as someone said to me when mom was a life well lived and we should all be so lucky.
Wren Hudgins 1/27/11

Dear Mrs. Cochran:
I remember my Father speaking so fondly of you and Mr. Cochran years ago. I also remember you, Mrs. Cochran, when I was a student at Stuart Hall (class of 1952). I just wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
Sally Lou Gilmer Hundley
daughter of Howard C. Gilmer, Jr.

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