Richard A. Cochran

August 03, 1939 ‒ March 27, 2019

Bradenton, Florida
Formerly of Mount Vernon, Ohio

Richard A. Cochran, age 79 died on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at his home in Bradenton, Florida.

Rich was born August 3, 1939, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, 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, Ohio, 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.

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

  • Sorry to hear of Rich’s passing. We knew him for many years in Mt Vernon. We send our condolences to the whole family.

  • We are very sorry to hear about Rich’s passing. He had a unique personality and was a fun person. He was able to make people laugh, a true gift. Our condolences to all of his family.

  • I am so sorry to hear of Rich’s passing. He was a special friend and I will miss him terribly. My condolences to his entire family.

  • I am so sorry to hear about Rich’s passing. I remember the Holiday Restaurant very clearly because it was my first job I had in high school. Fond memories with Gladys, Keck, and Margaret and several others I worked with. He was a great employer and friend. Wish I had be able to visit him one last time. My condolences to all his family. RIP Rich.

  • So very sorry to hear the news of Rich’s passing. He was quite the character, we have so many fun memories of Rich. Our prayers are with you and the family.

  • Sorry to hear of Rich’s passing. He was the first boss I ever had. Worked at Holiday after school and on weekends. God bless him and your family!

  • Dear Suzanne, I am so sorry to hear this. I honestly was thinking of Rich yesterday. Rich might joke but you could count on him when you needed him. I always felt he was on my side. I didn’t know he was ill so this is a bit of a jolt. You and your family take care. I am thinking of you. Margo

  • Suzanne, Tim, and Dan,
    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you all Rich was a wonderful man, and will be missed by all that new him. Find comfort in your many memories with family and friends. Greg and Linda Blubaugh

  • As everyone I’m shocked at Rich’s death. Just had a nice conversation with him last week. As always was asking about his home town Mount Vernon.
    He may have physically relocated to Bradenton but his heart and sole still belonged to Mount Vernon.
    A true friend, one you could confide in and get a straight answer. He always told it as he saw it!
    Will miss you good buddy!
    My condolences to Suzanne and the boys.
    Dennis Snyder

  • We’re sorry to hear the news of Rich’s passing.
    Thanks for the many memories of being our family friend over all these years. Rich you will surely be missed by all.
    God’s Peace, may God be with you all during this time of sorrow.
    Allen & Melissa Dexter

  • Rich was an integral part of the downtown business community and contributed in so many ways, including spirit and commitment. He cheered on so many people in their personal, academic and business efforts. He was like a host welcoming people to our town and celebrating so much about it with his stories. Thank you Rich and bless you.

  • We are so sorry to learn of Rich’s passing. He gave much to his community and was a good civic minded individual. Our condolences to his family and friends.

  • I knew Rich when I had my store downtown. He was a very nice man. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Suzanne. Lisa Blubaugh

  • Rich will be remembered a very long time in the Gambier and Mount Vernon areas. Rich wore so many hats it was difficult to keep up with him and his many thoughts! He will be sorely missed! Condolences to Rich’s wife, Suzanne and family!

  • Dear Suzanne,
    I was shocked when I heard about the passing of Rich. I always enjoyed the times Dennis & I were able to spend evenings with the two of you & wished there could have been more of them. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. Diana Snyder

  • Suzanne,so very sorry to hear about Rich. My thoughts are with you. Please take care.

  • I worked for Rich for 3 plus years starting when I was 16 in 1971. I worked at the Holiday and also in the catering business. Every Saturday night at Pacemakers running the food stand. About $1 per hour. I learned so much from being with Rich that I remembered the rest of my life and used in my career. I’m 64 now and retired. He taught me how to drive a stick shift by handing me the keys and telling me to move the truck. I had no idea what to do but figured it out. He was a great guy and I have always treasured those times working with him. We had a lot of fun. To this day every time I hear Janis Joplin sing “Me and Bobby McGee” I think of Rich. He forced me to listen to that 8 track tape over and over when we were driving to a job. He will be missed but he made a whole lot of people better along the way. Thanks, Rich!

  • Gods blessings to you and your family also to Dianna and Lorie’s families we
    Joan, Gary, Larry, Jane and Beth were childhood friends for many years.
    We will miss Richard as we did miss
    Wilber and Hellen but will cherish the good to times.
    The Daubenspeck Family

  • One of a kind. That’s what you were, Rich! No one ever had a better neighbor than you were to the entire Barone Family. I could count on a birthday card from you each October … and a few of them I could even share with my family! Where you found them, we’ll never know. I will miss our fun-spirited political sparring, which was kept alive through your almost-daily humorous e-mails following your and Suzanne’s relocation to Florida. I was inspired though the years by your entrepreneurial spirit, and you final “gift” to the community – your relentless and successful initiative to render the Memorial Building more accessible to the community (and dry no more!) – is a remarkable legacy to your sense of civic pride. I salute you on a life well-lived, RAC!
    Deepest sympathies to Suzanne, Tim, Dan, daughters-in law and grandchildren.

  • Rest In Peace Dear Rich, Your work is done on this earth and your contributions to our community and especially to the MVHS Class of ’57 will never be forgotten. Our deepest sympathy to Suzanne and the entire family. Thanks again for a wonderful 60th reunion. We will never be able to duplicate it without you. We all appreciated you so much. Sincerely, Susan (Nash) and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Our deepest sympathy to your family.
    Richard was a class act.

    The current Board of Electons- Terry Divelbiss, Chair, Adam Gilson, Cynthia Higgs, and Reba Borchers. Kim Horn, Director. Scott Howard, Deputy Director, Teresa Sewall, & Peggy Hockenberry.

  • SO SO SORRY What a great man. Sure did a lot for Mount Vernon. Will keep you in my prayers. Bob Harrod

  • Our deepest sympathies to Suzanne, Tim, Dan and families.
    When we moved to Mount Vernon in 1973, Rich was the third person we met at the Holiday … A strong friendship developed immediately … lasted over 46 years. Many good times together, many escapades together … Not just a great friend we all will miss, but also a mentor we could always confide in …
    Dick and Nancy Laslo

  • My sympathy to the Cochran family. His presence was certainly missed in the community upon relocating to Florida. He was one of the friendliest people in town. .

  • Suzanne,
    I am deeply sorry to hear of Rich’s passing. He was a good man and kind of ornery in the day. Prayers of you and the children.

  • Was sorry to hear the news. I am a cousin to his cousins (Joan Body &
    Alma Cocherham). I also worked with him when I was the assistant clerk of council for the City of Mount Vernon. Thoughts and prayers for the family.

  • So sorry to learn of Rich’s passing. I appreciated his sharp wit, wisdom, and insight always with a positive attitude and in support of his Community. A great example for others to follow.
    May God Bless.

  • I will miss my good friend for ever. Rich and I were friends in high school and always stayed in touch. But in the last several years grew closer and I valued him as my close friend. I had just talked to him two days before his passing and he seemed to be doing well. I am still in shock. Prayers for Suzanne and family

  • Thanks for the memories. Great conversations. Wonderful fishing trips to the Carolinas and Lake Erie. And the vacation trip to Los Arcos with Rich and Suzanne. Gone but never forgotten. RIP

  • Suzanne and family, John and I are so sorry about Rich’s passing. The life he led touched many people. He did so much for Mt Vernon.

  • Dear Suzanne and family,

    I didn’t get the opportunity to meet your husband and dad, but from the beautiful memories expressed above, he must have been a truly wonderful man. You can see he was blessed with many talents which he generously shared to make a difference in this world. What a legacy!

    There really are no words, but to say I am so sorry for your loss. All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sandy Boyes

  • Was so sorry to hear of Rich’s passing. Didn’t really know him but as a patron at the restaurant that I frequent. He was interesting to talk to and always pleasant.

  • Dear Suzanne and family,

    So sorry to hear about Rich. He was definitely one of a kind. He always made me laugh!! Keeping all of you in my prayers.

  • Dear Suzanne, Diana, and other family members:

    I am very sad to hear of Rich’s passing. It’s hard to imagine not being able to experience again his unique brand of humor, storytelling, and of course his sarcastic wit. He was certainly one of the more colorful characters I have known, always interesting, never boring. All my condolences.

  • So sorry to read of Rich’s passing.
    Brings back some good memories of when we were all young living in Mt. Vernon.

  • I am so sorry to hear about Rich. I worked with Rich when he served on the Ohio Reclamation Commission. That was between 2003 and 2008 – more than 10 years ago. Yet, even as recently as February, Rich e-mailed me some blonde jokes and some Hillary jokes!! What a character! I will truly miss him. Even though I am sad at his passing, when I think of Rich I can’t help but smile. The world was a happier place because of him, and I was blessed to know him. Linda Osterman