Obituary of Rolla W. Cochran, Jr.
Rolla “Rod” Cochran Jr. passed away on March 16, 2019, at his home in Syracuse New York, surrounded by family, as a result of cancer. Born on November 14, 1927 in Coshocton, Ohio he was married to his beloved wife Sidney from October of 1953 until her death in November of 2016. He is survived by his children and grandchildren, Thomas K. and Marie-Louise Cochran, and their daughters, Hannah, Krista and Sarah; Leslie E. Cochran George, and her son Samuel; and Christopher G. and Indraniwaty Cochran, and their children Owen and Emily. Rod worked at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry from 1963 until his retirement in 1990. He held various posts in the public relations department there, retiring as Director of Community Relations and Assistant to the College President. During his tenure, Rod worked on many educational outreach, alumni affairs and development projects, including the Sol Feinstone Environmental Awards program.
He previously worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, as an editor and writer, which he joined after separating from the army in 1953. He earned his Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from Ohio State University in 1951. He graduated from Dennison University, in 1949, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
For more than 30 years Rod and his family spent summers and weekends at a cottage on Bob’s Lake in Ontario, Canada. At Highrock, he shared his love of wildlife with his children. In retirement, Rod and Sidney took many trips together in the U.S. and in Europe, and enjoyed visiting their children in Paris, Dominica, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Brooklyn. They regularly attended jazz concerts as members of the Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse and enjoyed SU basketball games. He was a deacon at the Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church, in Dewitt.
Rod was a passionate outdoorsman and was active in many conservation organizations and activities. A longtime member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, he wrote articles about hunting and fishing throughout North America for regional and national magazines, including Outdoor Life, where he was the New York Editor for several years. His favorite kind of reporting was always spent in waders casting a fly rod. He loved to explore new places to fish: Alaska, Montana, and the farthest reaches of Hudson Bay. But he counted himself most lucky to have good friends to fish with closer to home, especially those who accompanied him to local lakes and streams, the Catskills, the Adirondacks and Maine.
Memorial services for Rod will be held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church, 5299 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, New York 13214.
Those wishing to make a gift in his memory are encouraged to consider the Wilderness Society or Trout Unlimited. The family would like to thank the social workers, nurses and home health aides at Hospice of CNY who expertly and tenderly helped care for Rod at home in his last month of his life.
Arrangements are with Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.