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In Memory of James Cochran, Class XVII

James E. Cochran, Class XVII, lost his battle with lung cancer on September 24, 2016.

Jim was born on January 28, 1942 to J.A. and Eleanor O’Neill Cochran. Jim was the eldest of three children with a brother Richard and sister Janet completing the Cochran family. Jim received his elementary and secondary education from Windom Rural Schools where he was active both in academics and athletics. He was especially proud to have played in the first eight-man football game in Kansas. Jim received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1964 from Emporia State Teacher College.

His first teaching and coaching position was at Norton Junior High School. In 1969 he moved to Colby Community College where he helped establish the school’s first debate program and assisted in the establishment of a campus radio station. It was at Colby where Jim came under the guidance of Dr. Richard Mosier who instilled in him the importance of teaching people how to learn. Jim had the good fortune to follow Dr. Mosier to Claremore Junior College where he served as Dean of Student Services, Dean of Community Services and Vice President for Development. The Hank Thompson School of Country and Western Music and Heritage Hills Golf Course were two proud accomplishments during his time there.

Jim moved on to serve as Executive Vice President of the Claremore Industrial Authority and Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce. Claremore was fortunate in recruiting Central Lift Hughes while Jim was serving in these positions. Jim returned to Northwest Kansas where he was in the swine equipment business. While in Norton he served as President of Norton County Development Authority. In 1985 Jim returned to Claremore where he was employed by Robson Properties as their leasing manager. Frank Robson was a strong influence on Jim by believing that you could improve the value of the individual through education.

While with Robson Properties, Jim served on the Claremore City Council and was Mayor from January of 2000 through July of 2005. It was his driving desire to position Claremore for the future by providing for utilities and infrastructure for the next coming years. A special part of his time as mayor and in the years since, has been the participation and development of the Sister City Program with Muravlenko, Russia. Frank and Jim both traveled to Muravlenko and Frank was always a host when the delegation came to Claremore. These exchanges helped all parties realize that had we known each other as individuals there would never have been the need for a Cold War. Peace and mutual understanding advances when politics is taken out of the equation. Lasting relationships continue to this day.

In an effort to slow down, Jim moved to Ponca City where he was employed by Bowker Properties as a leasing manager. Jim retired on January 1, 2014 and at that time he and his wife Lil moved to Grove, Oklahoma.

He is survived by his wife Lil, of the home; Sister, Janet King of Kansas City; Niece, Tricia King of Kansas City; Nephew, Andrew King and Andy Johnson of Tempe, Arizona; Sons, Shanen Hohenstein and Jo Lynn of Claremore; their Granddaughter, Maci; Tracy and Lisa Hohenstein of Atlanta Georgia; Granddaughters , Catlin and Carly.
Jim never met a person from which he did not gain knowledge and for that he was thankful.

The family wants to express their gratitude for the kindness of close friends, The church family of Grove United Methodist Church, The Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute, Freeman Hospital and Good Shepherd Hospice. Memorials may be given to Rogers State University.

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