Gary Wayne Cochran
Thursday 8th of February 1940 - Sunday 7th of February 2021
Gary Wayne Cochran, 80, husband of Martha Earle Cochran, passed away on February 7, 2021 at his home in Lexington, Kentucky. He was born on February 8, 1940 in Corbin, Kentucky, son of Roy Houston Cochran and Martha Alice Cochran, who preceded him in death.
Gary and Martha were married for 59 years and shared a strong faith in God. He was a respected business leader and deeply loved by his family and friends. In addition to Martha, his daughter, Kellie Cochran Wallace of Carmel, Indiana and son, Gary Wayne Cochran, Jr. of Lexington, survives him. He also has four loving grandchildren, Clayton Edward and William Cole Wallace of Carmel, Indiana and Camdon and Natalie Cochran of Lexington.
After spending the first eight years of school in Corbin, Kentucky, he relocated with his parents to Fort Thomas, Kentucky where he discovered his love of sports, especially football. While he lettered in track and field, where he set the school’s shot put record, and basketball, his first love was football. One day while playing in a sandlot football game, a coach from Fort Thomas Highlands noticed Gary’s outstanding athleticism and football skills and invited him to try out for the high school team.
During his four years at Highlands, Gary received four Varsity letters and served as Co-Captain of the team his junior and senior years. In 1957, Gary’s senior year, the team finished the season a perfect 10-0. During his career, he received multiple awards and honors including All-State honors his senior year, participating as a starter in the State All Star Game, selected as a Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference All Star his junior and senior years. His ultimate award, received after his senior season, was the NAGEL Award that was given annually to the most outstanding football player in Northern Kentucky. At the team’s annual banquet, long-time high school, college and professional Coach Homer Rice commented, “Gary Cochran was the best natural athlete he ever coached”.
Gary’s outstanding high school career led to a four-year scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky, where he also served as an assistant coach following his playing days and graduation.
He retired after a 35-year career as a Human Resources leader in the manufacturing industry working for three major corporations. As noted before, Gary was always a respected and valued leader to all the employees he helped manage throughout his career.
Visitation will be from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm on Friday, February 12th at Milward - Southland located at 391 Southland Drive. Funeral service will begin at 1:00 pm with interment to follow in Lexington Cemetery. Capacity restrictions, social distancing guidelines, and mask usage will be followed during these events.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate.
With sadness and love, Jay, Terry, Andy, and I send our heartfelt sympathy to you: Martha, Kellie, Chip, and extended family for the loss of your beloved Gary. Our cherished memories span decades of friendship, education, sporting events, and love. Caroline Lewis
Shelly and Mick Cochransays
What a wonderful life to celebrate. He was such a special man, friend and Uncle to my husband and I. He will be missed terribly, Love you Uncle Gary.