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Arvil Alexander Cochran, Jr.April 9, 1927 ~ January 2, 2018 (age 90)
Click below to listen to the funeral service. Available until April 6, 2018.
Arvil Alexander Cochran Jr. passed from this life to the next on January 2, 2018 in West Jordan, Utah at the age of 90. A man who consistently lived his life with a happy tune at the ready and an ever-present song in his heart, he passed from this life surrounded by his family who lovingly honored him by gently singing him through the veil to the next existence.
Arvil was first-born of 7 children, born April 9, 1927 in Darbun, Mississippi to Arvil Alexander Cochran Sr. and Gertrude Lewis Cochran. Growing up on a farm in the deep south, he learned the value of hard work at a young age and carried that into every aspect of his life. He is, quite possibly, the hardest working man to ever bless the planet. And, bless it, he did! Arvil was kind to everyone he met. But it wasn’t just kindness…. He had a knack for making you feel like you were his favorite person in the world and the best part of his day. He was loyal and selfless and he lived for the people that he loved. He was wise and shared his wisdom without pretense or bluster and always practiced, with integrity, the things that he preached.
In the closing months of World War II at the age of 18, Arvil enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to the U.S. Naval aviation training station in Memphis, Tennessee for the radio gunnery school and went to Jacksonville, Florida for Aerial Gunnery training where he later became an instructor on the base for training aircraft recognition and aerial gunnery and Morse code flight communications. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy on November 2, 1947 and served in the Naval Reserve until 1955.
His naval training guided him quite naturally to a life-long career as a broadcast engineer and a faculty member at the University of Houston, his alma mater. He was a professor of Radio and Television Communications and was Head of the Communications Department until the mid-1980s. He continued his education by obtaining his Master’s degree at U of H. He was a part of building the first educational radio and TV stations, obtained public funding for them (which eventually became PBS affiliations) and taught students basics of television and radio journalism and production. As a professor, he mentored many students who went on to have very successful careers in the broadcasting world. His department at the University of Houston, in collaboration with NASA, was the first to broadcast space launches and 24-hour radio communications from Apollo space modules to Home Flight Control during space missions.
In addition to his career at the University of Houston, his professional endeavors included selling crop insurance, managing vending machines and the occasional paper route. He did whatever it took to support his family.
In high school glee club, Arvil met his sweetheart, Edith Merle Dawsey, and they married on February 17, 1946 and went on to have a family of five daughters and one son. Arvil and Merle filled their home with music and infused it into the lives of each of their children. In this they created a musical legacy for Arvil and Merle’s posterity that is still thriving today.
A devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Arvil happily dedicated himself to the service of God and his fellow man. He spent many years teaching seminary in the early morning to LDS youth, including a number of his own children, and he served in numerous and varied church capacities throughout his life. He and Merle were devoted members of their congregational choir and were always willing to add their beautiful voices and hearts to praising God through song.
Upon the death of his sweetheart in 2012, Arvil uprooted himself from his life in Houston and set out for a new adventure, moving near four of his siblings in South Jordan, Utah. In his new home, he made many dear and close friends and lit up the world of Legacy Retirement Residence. He thrilled in the day to day interactions and experiences with his fellow residents and the wonderful Legacy staff.
Arvil is survived by his six children, Jann (Tommy) Gentry- Pasadena, TX; Devan (Jeff) Martin- Lincoln, NE; Genene (Brayton) Wight- Idaho Falls, ID; Bronwyn (David) Hammond- Idaho Falls, ID; Fairy Tana Cochran (Mickey) Connolly- Longmont, CO; Lex Cochran- Dallas, TX, as well as one brother, Billy Juan Cochran- Baton Rouge, LA; and two sisters, Geneal Cahoon- SLC, UT, and Mitzi Davis- West Jordan, UT; 21 grandchildren, 52 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, his mother and father; his sisters, Osma Armstrong and Donna Talabock, and brother, Neldon Cochran.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018, 11:00 a.m., at the LDS Chapel at 1409 West Shields Lane, South Jordan, Utah where friends may visit with the family from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to services at the church. Interment will be on Tuesday, January 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm at the Houston National Military Cemetery. Messages and tributes to the family can be made at www.holbrookmortuary.com.