William Jerrell "Bill" Cochran

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.

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9 Messages to “William Jerrell "Bill" Cochran

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Russell & Charlotte Williamson
October 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

A wonderful man that we were fortunate enough to know for many,
many years. So proud to call him friend and brother.

Dolph Medling
October 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Uncle Bill was a “Big” man that taught me so much. I admired his love for Aunt Sue, Vicki, Tommy, Beth and all his grandchildren. I was blessed to have him as my Uncle.

Suzanne Moore
October 4, 2011 at 8:19 am

A great man, I had the priviledge of working indirectly with him at the Lansing Police Department. He was highly thought of & respected. I also had the priviledge of working with Nancy and getting to know Dominic. Bill will be missed by many. May knowing that others share in your loss and may your cherished memories of Bill bring you some comfort.

Nancy Knupfer
October 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Deepest condolences to all of Bill’s family. May your fond memories of many good times with such a wonderful man help you through this time of loss.

Donald Heriford
October 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Dear Sue, Tom, Vicky and Beth,

Your husband and father is a wonderful man.
I had the priviledge of knowing him for 20 years.
Everytime he would see me or talk to me on the phone he never failed to ask me how my family was doing. He was very genuine about their status. He cared about people.
The people he cared most about were you.
He was very proud of his family and spoke highly of all, particularly the grandchildren.
He loved his church family and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I know he’s rejoicing, rooting for us to run our race to win.
Bill Cochran touched our lifes in many ways – a gift from God – who left us richer by giving of himself in tender ways. Ways that expressed a gentleman’s version of the Golden Rule.
We’ll all miss him. But by knowing his Saviour – We will be with him again.

Brooke Samec
October 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

Big Daddy was such a kind gracious funny man! I will always treasure the opportunities I had to meet him and talk with him..memories of Francis Street!! A man’s man-he will truly be missed! Prayers to you all!

Joyce Griffith
October 6, 2011 at 10:59 am

Our families have shared so much over the years. It was confusing to me when we first met because Jimmy and the Cochrans were so close that I thought they were more than cousins. Bill and Sue were more than friends and more than family. I miss you all. I was shocked to hear about Bill and send you my love and sympathy. He was truly a great guy, a hero to all who knew him. I will pray for you as you get through this sad, sad time. I’m truly sorry that I can’t be there with you.


MaryEllen Hazelton Eisele
October 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

Sue, Tom, Vicki and Beth,
You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I have so many fond memories of all of you and know how much you all love and will miss Bill. Cling to the memories and his love which will never leave you.

P.S. He and Dad are off doing something together in heaven.

Kirk and KAren Squiers
October 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Big Daddy! You truly were “BIG” ! A Big heart and Kind soul!


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