Longtime Half Moon Bay resident Dick Cochran, 91, died Sunday, September 12, 2021 in Chico, California. Baptized Walter Richard Cochran, he was born in Wichita, Kansas, on November 2, 1929, to Ted and Hazel. Cochran. He is survived by his daughter Kerry Cochran (husband Ken), his son Kirk Cochran (wife Marilyn), his grandson Ethan Cochran (wife Adria) and his great grandson Jarrod William Cochran, as well as many nephews and nieces. He is predeceased by his wife Ann Cochran, his sister Mary Louise Lyon and his grandson Jarrod Sean Cochran.
Dick’s childhood was influenced by his father’s career, primarily with United Airlines, moving from Wichita, Kansas, to Cheyenne, Wyo., And finally to Menlo Park, Calif.Dick graduated from Sequoia High School and continued his studied at the California Maritime Academy, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. From 1950 to 1953, he served in the US Navy as Lt.jg during the Korean War. Upon his return to the United States, Dick met Ann Miller and they were married in 1952 in Menlo Park. He joined Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1958 and retired in 1991. Dick has held a variety of positions ranging from engineering to program and proposal management, including: power generation equipment for marine and energy applications, defense missile launches, radar and steel projects, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants. power stations. His career has taken his family to cross the country several times and overseas to Turkey and northeastern Canada.
Upon his return from Turkey, Dick held a managerial position at Westinghouse Sunnyvale and settled in Half Moon Bay near his parents. Many Coastsiders will remember the Cochran Residence on Meyn Road, south of town, built by Dick’s parents in the 1950s. Dick and Ann have lived there for over 40 years, since 1971. He and Ann loved Half Moon Bay and were active in the community, making many friendships. Dick served on the California State Parks and Beaches Committee for San Mateo County as a member and chairman; was founder and former president of the Año Nuevo Interpretation Association; and a member of the San Mateo County Fair Livestock Committee for many years. He and Ann were longtime members of the Community United Methodist Church and loved their church family. They funded the restoration and donation of an old pump organ saved by its parents many years before when a former pastor chose to throw it away. This organ is now in the original chapel / church on rue Miramontes.
Dick was very proud to be a graduate of the California Maritime Academy and was an active alumnus. He credits his training as a CMA for having ignited his passion for travel. He was a member of the board of the Alumni Association, secretary of the Alumni Association 1995-1999, president of the Alumni Association 2000-2004 and Distinguished Alumni Diploma in 2011. In addition, he has was instrumental in the creation of a scholarship for the 1950 CMA Class. He and Ann also donated a large gift annuity in their name to the CMA for the benefit of this institution.
During his retirement, Dick and Ann enjoyed traveling both at home and abroad, visiting many national parks in the west as well as trips to Europe, Turkey, Southeast Asia, Hawaii, in Fiji, Alaska, the Holy Land and Japan to name a few.
After Ann’s death, Dick left the coast to live in Arizona with his daughter Kerry and her husband Ken. They all returned to California because Dick missed out on his “home state” and settled in Butte County. Dick was a 2018 campfire survivor in Paradise and lived his final years in Chico. He often mentioned that Half Moon Bay was the most favorite place he had lived. He really missed the coast and its community.