Mable Cochran

Mable Cochran (Kirkland)

Saturday, July 30th, 1932 - Thursday, August 27th, 2020
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Mable Wynn Kirkland Cochran
July 30, 1932 – August 27, 2020

In the rays of the morning sunlight with a vibrant blue sky, Mable Cochran’s suffering ended as she was born into eternity surrounded by her family.

Mable Wynn Kirkland Cochran was born in Broxton, Georgia on July 30, 1932 to parents Milton and Zella Kirkland. Although she moved out of state several times, throughout her life Mable embodied all of the grace, gentleness and charm of her native South Georgia roots. Mable moved from Broxton to Douglas, Georgia while in grade school and completed her education there. After graduating from South Georgia College, Mable moved to Washington, D.C. to accept a position as secretary to US Congressman Don Wheeler, where she served two terms. It must have been quite a culture adjustment for Mable going from the small southern town of Douglas to the Nation's Capitol! It was in Washington, DC that she met the love of her life, John Dickinson Cochran, through a church gathering. John and Mable Cochran were married just three months shy of 65 years.

Mable’s strong and quiet inner strength and her faith in God was evident in all she did. She was a very supportive minister’s wife to John in ministry at Fountain Memorial and Metropolitan Baptist Churches in Washington, DC, First Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia and at Roanoke's First Baptist Church.

Mable was a gentle loving soul whose smile could transform the most difficult of days into joy. Mable loved travel, writing poetry, creating works of art and lifting people’s spirits. She had a special gift for seeking out persons who were in need of encouragement which she never failed to deliver with her own personal warmth and healing smile. Mable loved her family fiercely, frequently expressing her pride for each child and her granddaughter. When Mable was in her sixties she discovered she had a great talent for painting and created many beautiful works of art which her children will always cherish. Although she was perceived by most as a sweet quiet woman, she had sharp wit that could surprise, refresh and bring gales of laughter at the most unexpected times. Mable’s great sense of humor, and her simple laugh was contagious. Holiday gatherings were always spent with her family, and she would have the home decorated beautifully for the occasion, be it Thanksgiving, Christmas or other occasion.

While Mable left the working world when her first child Andy was born, she remained a dedicated Mother to her three children throughout her life. She was very active in the Church and her ongoing service in volunteer work. For years Mable taught second grade Sunday School at First Baptist Church in Roanoke which was a joy to her and her students.

Along with her husband John, they traveled extensively both domestically and abroad, enjoying cruises when they could get away. John was responsible for organizing the XYZ (eXtra Years of Zest) ministry at First Baptist for Senior Adults, arranging and escorting dozens of trips over the years for the many happy and active seniors. Mable always accompanied John on these trips and collected a treasure chest of photos, slides, videos, and souvenirs from their travels. These trips ranged from local attractions to cross-country journeys, Alaska, Hawaii, and Caribbean cruises to European tours. Mable was always eager to hear from her children about their present day travels as well, and has many postcards which she proudly saved. Likewise, she enjoyed family and travel photos. She was astute and organized enough to mark the names, date, and location of photographs she saved in the pre-digital photography collection, some of which dated back to the early 1900's.

Mable was predeceased by her husband John, parents Milton and Zella Kirkland, sister Laura Elizabeth and twin sister Myrtle Lynn, who died shortly after birth. She is survived by her sons John Andrew and spouse Arthur Tatman of Roanoke, Stephen Paul and partner Steve "Dos" Pollock of Oviedo, Florida, and daughter and son-in-law Jenni and Lawrence BenBassett and granddaughter Nicole Jordan BenBassett of Germantown, Maryland. Mable is also survived by her brother, Milton Kirkland and sister-in-law, Connie, of Hazelhurst, Georgia, and four nephews and two nieces.

Mable’s family extends their heartfelt thanks to the staffs of English Meadows and Harmony Assisted Living for their care, love and support to Mable and her family. Appreciation is also extended to Good Samaritan Hospice for their support and care. You all have blessed us richly.

The family will receive guests from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 4 until 6 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2020, at Oakey’s Roanoke Chapel - Downtown. A service of the celebration of Mable’s life will be held graveside at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Airport Road, NW, Roanoke.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, September 11th, 2020 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Friday, September 11th, 2020 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Oakey's Roanoke Chapel
    318 W. Church Ave SW
    Roanoke, VA 24016
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Friday, September 11th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Friday, September 11th, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Oakey's Roanoke Chapel
    318 W. Church Ave SW
    Roanoke, VA 24016
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, September 12th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, September 12th, 2020 11:00am
    Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens
    5737 Airport Rd.
    Roanoke, VA 24012
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Susan E. Bentley


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Private Condolence

Kathy Freis Gross

Posted at 02:09pm
George and I are so sorry to hear of Mabel ‘s passing . She and John were dear friends of my mother ‘s and our friends as well . My mother and Mabel taught second grade Sunday School for many years . My mother always enjoyed working with Mabel and considered both she and John the closest of friends . They were always there to support my mother and she loved traveling with them on XYZ trips. Mabel was always so kind and thoughtful including mother in many family celebrations and hosting a wedding luncheon for me . Mabel was a very special lady and will be truly missed by many . We are so grateful that we knew Mable and we were so inspired by her gentle spirit .

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