Ellwyn E. Cochran, 78, passed away Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, in Aztec, NM. In his words, “That’s a ripe old age for a Cochran.”
Ellwyn was a brilliant man, and lived a brilliant life. He was born on the family farm Nov. 25, 1932, in Loup County. He grew up on the farm, and had many stories to tell of farming with horses, their first tractor, and even burning down the barn while cooking sparrow eggs.
After graduating from high school, he began his teaching in one room country schools in Loup and Custer County. He attended college at Kearney State Teacher’s College, and the University of Northern Colorado. He was also quick to add that at one time he took a class from Harvard.
He met Wilma, the love of his life, while they were in a song and dance band in Broken Bow, where they were later married. In 1962, they moved to Fort Morgan, where he resided until shortly before his death.
Ellwyn taught at numerous elementary schools in Fort Morgan, and his passion for his students and fellow educators will live on forever. He will be forever remembered as a kind, compassionate and dedicated teacher.
Ellwyn will also be remembered for his love of music, his family, and serving his community. He was the choir director at First Christian Church for many years, was a longtime member of the local Optimist Club, and performed at many events with the Cochran Family Singers. He also loved being outdoors, and the Cochran family enjoyed many camping trips, with plenty of fishing lessons for everyone. He was also a talented carpenter, and helped to build the family home.
After his retirement, Ellwyn enjoyed trips to Las Vegas, Blackhawk, and playing Bingo. After the death of Wilma, he enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, and watching all of their activities.
Ellwyn is survived by his sister, Rose Drake of Sargent; his son, Brice and wife Lynn, and their children Shelby and Clay, of Windsor, Colo.; his daughter, Mandy Thomas and husband Ryan, and their children Alec, Reagan, Ryder and Radley, of Wiggins, Colo.; daughter, Angie Echols and her husband Doug, and daughter Haley, of Farmington, NM, and Mindy and fiancée Logan Armstrong and son Tate, of Aztec, NM and granddaughter Sydney Cochran, of Meeker, Colo. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, extended family members, and a multitude of former students.
Ellwyn is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Eileen; his wife, Wilma; a son, Randall; a grandson, Ian Randall Cochran, and many members of his extended family.
Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in Fort Morgan, with a memorial service at the First Christian Church at 11 a.m.
Published in Custer County Chief, Nov. 17, 2011