Dad got a kick out of the saying: "The only bad luck in life is bad health, the rest is just inconvenience."
This was a favorite quote of our father, Gerald Lynn Cochran, who passed away on Thursday, May 14th, 2020.
'Jerry,' loving Dad of two daughters, Natalie and Andrea, was 80 years young when he crossed over to be with brother Norman 'Whitey' Cochran, father Floyd and mother Edna 'Euleen' Cochran.
Gerald approached life with strength, kindness, integrity, love and laughter. Signs were his business, a trade skill he learned from his father. A true craftsman and artist, Dad had the ability to give each letter its own life, down to the gentle curve of an 'S' to the beautiful brush stroke of a name painted in gold leaf on a glass surface. He spent a majority of his working life operating Mesa Outdoor Advertising in Farmington, NM where he could often be seen posting billboards off the busy highway advertising everything from Coca-Cola to Coors. He retired in 1997 after 40 years of work.
Dad also had a great passion for cars, something he shared with his brother. The two dreamed of designing cars for Chevy and Ford in their teenage years and started a drag racing club in their hometown of Durango, Colorado. He opened a slot car track before going into the sign business full time. He was an avid poker player who eventually moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to enjoy the last decade of his life.
Jerry was active with the Elks Club and the Masonic Lodge, achieving the third degree status of 'Master Mason,' an accomplishment he shared with quiet confidence. He loved a good cup of coffee, driving the open road and going to the movies. Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood were two of his favorite actors. He was also a fierce competitor when it came to playing Monopoly during holiday family gatherings. Friends admired his quick wit, kind nature and compassionate spirit. Dad had a soft spot for animals who had been abandoned, encouraging pet adoption whenever possible. He thought every shelter pet deserved to feel safe, valued and loved.
He graduated from Durango High School in 1957 and married Cleo Pike. The couple divorced after 19 years of marriage. They share two daughters.
Jerry is survived by his two girls, Nat and Andi, who will miss getting his weekly upbeat phone calls offering words of wisdom and encouragement. He is also survived by his sister Vicki (Jerry) Hickman of Durango, CO, 3 nieces, a nephew and his beloved dog 'Snowflake.'
A graveside service will be held in August at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango, Colorado. Donations can be made in his name to a preferred animal charity or local Humane Society.
Published in Pine River Times on May 27, 2020.