May 22, 1935 – September 30, 2017
Ralph Neal Cochrane, 82, of Matthews, NC, passed away on Saturday, the 30th of September at Novant Health – Matthews.
He was born the 22nd of May 1935, the oldest son to the late Carl and Pauline Cochrane. Survived by his wife, Shirley Thompson Cochrane; his three children: Jan Cochrane Duckworth (Rev. Terry Duckworth), Asheville, NC; Gary Cochrane (Kim Cate) Sugar Land, Texas; Jeff Cochrane (Nancy Cochrane) Harrisburg, NC; four grandchildren: Dr. Caroline Cochrane, Greenville, SC; Cameron Duckworth (Emily) Mt. Holly, NC; Casey Duckworth (Amanda) Asheville, NC; Catherine Cochrane, Charleston, SC; two great-grandchildren: Ayla Hernandez, Ivy Duckworth; three sisters – Nell Henderson, Joyce Cabaniss and Judy Cochrane, preceded in death by sister Patsy Sharpe. Survived by three brothers: Paul Cochrane, Ken Cochrane, Doug Cochrane and one brother-in-law, Larry Sharpe. He was blessed with a large family, with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by step-daughter, Darlene Thompson Helms, and survived by Barry Thompson, Steven Thompson, Vivian Thompson Thomas, Lynette Thompson Freimanis and preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Evelyn Dunn Cochrane in 2013.
The family will greet friends on Tuesday, the 3rd of October 2017 from 1:00 PM until 2:45 PM Mt. Harmony Baptist Church. A service to celebrate the life of Ralph Cochrane will follow at 3:00 PM in the sanctuary. Burial will follow in the Cochrane family plot in the church cemetery.
Ralph was a charter member of the class of 1953 of East Mecklenburg High School and began at Southern Engineering, Charlotte, NC, before founding CEO of Cochrane Steel, Inc. supplying reinforcing steel for many buildings, bridges and other concrete structures in the Carolinas, for over 40 years. He loved the Lord, and loved his church, Mt. Harmony Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon, sang in the choir and in many leadership committees. He sang in the St. James Male Chorus, sang in gospel quartets, and loved gospel music. Ralph participated in many professional and community groups: The Rotary Club International, Masonic Temple, Shriners, CRSI (Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute) PCEA (Professional Construction Estimators Association) and served in leadership roles in many of these organization and served as President of Pine Lake Country Club. Ralph loved hunting, fishing, golf, skeet-shooting, and wood-working. He loved to travel and traveled internationally and visited almost all 50 states. Memorials can be made to Mt. Harmony Baptist Church, Building Fund, 2817 Mt. Harmony Church Road, Matthews, NC 28105.