BRADENTON, Fla. — Richard A. Cochran, 79, died Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at his home in Bradenton, Florida.

Rich was born Aug. 3, 1939, in Mount Vernon, to the late Wilbur and Helen (Kerr) Cochran. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1957 and in 1962 from Muskingum University where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

After college, Rich was employed by RCA in Cambridge, working on the Minuteman Missile Project with RCA. In 1963 he returned to Mount Vernon where he co-owned and operated the Holiday Restaurant on South Main Street. For three years he also managed the Mount Vernon Country Club. From 1973 through 1985 he owned and operated The Alcove Restaurant. Retiring from the restaurant business he later founded Creative Graphics, a printing and small publishing company.

A longtime civic activist, Rich served as either chairman or was a member of Knox County Head Start, Knox County Board of Health, Knox County Public Defenders Board, and the Mount Vernon/Knox County Chamber of Commerce Board. He was a charter member of the Mount Vernon Barbershop Chorus and a life member of the Knox County Historical Society. He was actively involved in promoting the Memorial Theater improvements prior to relocating to Florida.

Politically active since the Goldwater era, Rich served as Knox County Republican Chairman for nine years and served on both its Executive and Central Committees until he moved to Florida in 2015. He served three terms on the Ohio Republican Executive and Central Committee, representing the Ohio 19th Senate district. In 2004 Rich was appointed by Governor Taft to the Ohio Reclamation Commission. He also served as a member of the Knox County Board of Elections for eight years and served as Councilman-at-Large on the Mount Vernon City Council.

A student of the piano in his early years, Rich played with several rock and roll bands in the early ’60s, mostly in central Ohio. Regular venues included the swanky Sunset club and the equally elegant Three Gables Inn on Columbus Road.

Rich was a 32nd degree Mason at Mount Zion Lodge #9 and was a member of the AmVets Post #95. Previously he was a member of the LOOM, Athletic Club of Columbus, Mount Vernon Country Club, BPOE and Rotary International.

Rich’s many interests included gardening, painting watercolors, tweaking new recipes in the kitchen, everybody’s dog, and remembering jokes and humorous local historical events. An avid reader, his very special interest was military history, especially that of World War II. While his humor could sometimes be caustic, he was seldom left speechless.

Rich is survived by his wife of 51 years, Suzanne Lester Cochran and two sons, Timothy (Mary Dickerson) Cochran and Daniel (Stephanie Linkous) Cochran. He also leaves two younger sisters, Diana (Robert) Blake and Lorraine (John) Wright; five grandchildren, Megan, Ryan, Oscar, Henry, and Simon; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

At Rich’s request there will be neither calling hours nor funeral services. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Rich’s name to the Knox County Foundation, P.O. Box 1270, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

To share a memory or send the family an expression of sympathy visit www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.

The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home in Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Richard A. Cochran.

 

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