William passed away on October 3, 2011. He was born on July 16, 1931 in Greenfield, TN to Jerrell and Beatrice (Farmer) Cochran. He moved to Lansing, MI in the early 1940′s, and attended West Jr. High for 3 years and J.W. Sexton for 2 years. After moving back to TN for his senior year, he met the love of his life, Betty Sue Williamson. They were married March 11, 1950 and moved back to Lansing, MI shortly thereafter. He worked at Fisher Body for 3 years before beginning a 28-year career at the Lansing Police Department. He retired at the rank of Captain in September of 1981 after serving in all divisions of the Department. He served as Project Director for LPD’s first and only helicopter program and was one of the founding members of the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad. While at LPD he received criminal justice degrees from Lansing Community College and Michigan State University, and graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. After retiring from his beloved LPD, he began a 12-year career as Security Administrator for the Board of Water & Light. He loved both careers and all the colleagues and friends he made during his 40-plus year work life.
Bill and Sue were blessed with over 61 years of marriage. He thanks God for the love they shared and the 4 children they had together: Susan (deceased), Tom, Vicky, and Beth. He also felt blessed by his children’s spouses: Kathy Cameron for Tom, Hans Hertrich for Vicky, and Frank Russell for Beth. He loved them as if they were his own children and he considered them as such. He was preceded in death by his parents, baby daughter Susan, brothers Tom and John, brother-in-law Sammie Williamson, and his wonderful in-laws Lowell and Estell Williamson. He loved them as his own parents, and felt blessed to have them. He was survived by many to celebrate his long life: His loving and wonderful wife Sue, and children Tom and Kathy, Vicky and Hans, and Beth and Frank. He was also survived by 11 grandchildren: Dominic, Cameron, and Jacob Cochran; Nikolas (Brandy), Christian (Erica), Katie (fiancé John), Hannes (fiancée Joyce), Alex, and Michael Hertrich; and Will and Heath Russell. He was also survived by his brother Jim (Carol), sister Nancy Small, nephews Travis and Anthony Cochran, sister-in-law Ann, and nieces Lynn, Lee, and Lorin Cochran. Surviving in-laws are Russell (Charlotte), Montez, and Debbie Williamson, and all their children and grandchildren.
Bill’s life was greatly enriched by all of his family and friends, and also his church family including Pastor Chuck at Christ United Methodist in Lansing. He loved them all dearly. He would also like to thank the staff at Ingham Regional Medical Center and Hospice for the great care he received there.
The funeral service for Bill J. Cochran will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 7, 2011 at the Christ United Methodist Church, 517 W. Jolly Rd., Lansing with the Rev. Chuck Grauer officiating. Visitation will be Thursday 1:00-8:00 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ United Methodist Church in Lansing.