Robert Bennett Cochran

Published 1:48 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

Robert Bennett Cochran, 97, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 18. He was a resident of the Goldton Assisted Living, Starkville.

Cochran was born January 17, 1927, to Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Talmadge Cochran (Elizabeth).

Robert joins his wife, Norma Grace (Weeks), who passed February 26, 2023.

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He is survived by three daughters, Dinah Clark (Harold), Lynn Infanger (Peter) of Starkville, Nan Woods (Johnny) of Oxford; seven grandchildren and their families, Jill Holland of New Orleans, Natalie Morgan Underwood of Starkville, John Infanger of Roswell, Ga., Robert Infanger of Austin, Texas, Catherine Infanger of Winston-Salem, N.C., Grant Woods of Chattanooga, Tenn, Michael Woods of Los Angeles; eight great-grandchildren; and Susan Ann Weeks (niece) and Eric Cochran (nephew).

Robert grew up with two brothers (Byron and Winfred) in Boston and Winfield, Ala. He joined the Navy at the young age of 16, then returned to Winfield High School to graduate.

He attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where he married Norma Grace Weeks in 1950 and began their life by growing their careers in the field of education.

Robert and Grace raised their three children in Louisville, Miss. where he began his career as the band director.

He later became an administrator as principal and assistant superintendent in his last years in Louisville.

Robert and Grace moved to Meridian, and then to Vicksburg, where he served as superintendent of the city schools.

Robert and Grace then retired to Deerfield Country Club in Madison.

They enjoyed traveling with the Mississippi Senior Golf Association, as well as taking trips abroad and participating in the Colonial Dance Club and entertaining at home.

Robert received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi; a Master of Arts from the University of Alabama; and a Doctor of Education degree from Mississippi State University. The latter degree carried an emphasis in curriculum and a minor in music education.

He taught at elementary, secondary and university levels and served as a lecturer, clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor over a broad area in music education.

He served as an elementary and secondary principal, a director of instruction and had extensive experience with legislative committees and has been honored by Gov. William Winter and Gov. Bill Allain.

Living into one’s 90s means most of your contemporaries have passed on ahead of you, but Robert Cochran will be fondly remembered by countless students who learned life lessons from him as their band director, principal and superintendent.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Robert Cochran be made to the World War II Museum in New Orleans or Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

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