Jean Brown Cochran, 93, died peacefully on June 6, 2021. She was predeceased by her husband of 71 years, Lenwood S Cochran. They met on a blind date and married on August 18, 1949.
Born on March 31, 1928 in Pacolet, SC, Jean was the daughter of the late M.W. Brown and Frances G. Brown. A graduate of Pacolet High School and Winthrop College, she did graduate work at Furman University. She began her teaching career in Woodside Mill Village, where she taught sixth and seventh graders. Teaching was Jean’s lifelong passion and she never considered any other profession. She often said that teaching a child to read was the most thrilling part of the job.
Jean was the first teacher hired when Christ Church Episcopal School opened in 1959; she spent the rest of her education career there. She was honored in many ways, including being the recipient of the Mary K. Roper Distinguished Service Award. A school dining room was named in her honor and, upon her retirement, the school recognized her with Jean Cochran Day.
Mrs. Cochran was a member of Earle Street Baptist Church, which she and Lenwood joined in 1952. In the late 1980s, following a decline in membership, the church appointed Jean chairwoman of the Long Range Planning Committee. This committee made many recommendations for the church, including calling Dr. James Wooten as pastor in 1987. As a result of those recommendations, the church enjoyed many years of growth in the ensuing years. Jean was elected as the church’s first female deacon and served on countless church committees over the years.
Birdwatching was one of her favorite pastimes. Sitting in the den with Lenwood watching the birds eat from the feeders at the back of their home was always enjoyable; sometimes she sprinkled cornbread crumbs for the birds.
Also Jean became a longtime “cuddler” in the Greenville Health System’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Every Wednesday morning for more than fifteen years, she rocked babies and sang to them. She said this activity was the highlight of her week. In 2014, she was named “Volunteer of the Year.”
She is survived by three daughters: Francie (Doug) Markham of Nashville, TN; Libby (Bob) Carman of Greer, SC; and Laura (Mark) McBride of Myrtle Beach, SC. She has seven grandchildren: Robert (Allison) Carman; Mary Elizabeth (Eric)Carman Crowder; Cassie Markham Sturdivant; Aaron (Casey) Markham; Struthers (Eliza) McBride; Mills (George) McBride Bryan; and O’Neil McBride; she has eight great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her brothers, Moses W. Brown and Herbert Brown, and her sister, Anne Blackwell.
The family wants to thank the staff and administrators at National HealthCare of Greenville, especially Jazzmin, Rebekah, Sandrine, Melissa, Carrie, Lucia, Nicole, and Ashley. The family also appreciates the love, care and comfort Caris Hospice gave them.
A visitation will be held Friday, June 11, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Earle Street Baptist Church in Greenville, followed by the funeral service. Family and friends who are unable to attend the service can view the Live Stream by visiting www.esbcgreenville.org.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to :
Christ Church Episcopal School 245 Cavalier Drive Greenville, SC 29607
Earle Street Baptist Church 225 W. Earle Street Greenville, SC 29609
or the charity of your choosing.