The University of Wyoming lost longtime friend and supporter, Robert Cochran, 83, on April 21, 2019. Dr. Cochran served on the UW faculty from 1964-2003 and was a consistent face around the basketball arena, swimming pool, football field, and volleyball court. In 2016, a bench was placed on the south side of Prexy's Pasture in front of Ross Hall to commemorate his years of service and love of walking to work.
Bob, the youngest of three children born to Benjamin and Clella Cochran, was raised just north of Chicago, IL, which contributed to his interest in trains and baseball early on. Bob began his lifelong commitment to academia with a B.S. from the University of Illinois. In his summers between college, he worked at Yellowstone National Park as a busboy where he met his wife, Barbara, a waitress from California. After getting married in 1957, they moved to Laramie where he earned his M.S. With stops along the way in Manhattan, KS and Ames, IA while completing his Ph.D. in Statistics, the young couple eventually came full circle back to Laramie where they settled into raising their four children, and Bob embarked upon his career as a Professor of Statistics at UW.
For the next 35 years, their lives would revolve around Zion Lutheran Church and the Laramie Swim Club, for which he served in multiple leadership positions at state and national levels, including the role of NCAA Academic Advisor for UW. He loved living in Wyoming and would frequently take a drive up to Snowy Range just to enjoy a day of fishing around Mirror Lake. As avid baseball fans, Bob and Barbara visited over 20 different ballparks, including the famous Field of Dreams. Their love for travel also inspired many international trips and cruises around the world. During the summers, he loved going to the UW night at Coors Field to cheer on his adopted Colorado Rockies. Family members and friends will also remember him for his affinity for trains, tea, NPR, ice cream, and his witty sense of humor.
Bob's life highlighted his faith in God, love for his family, commitment to education, and passion for sports. Bob was predeceased by his parents, brother, sister, and his beloved wife of 59 years Barbara in 2017. He is survived by his four children; Bruce, Bonnie Sue (Antonio Fisher), Brad (Gina), and Bryan (Molly); along with 11 grandchildren. Memorial Service for Bob will be held at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 406 S. 19th St. in Laramie, WY 82070 on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at 11:00am. Reception to be held at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center on campus. All are invited and welcome to join. In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted to the Yellowstone Preservation Society and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.