Miles E. Cochran Jr.

May 5, 1934 ~ November 20, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Miles Cochran Jr. Obituary

Miles E. Cochran Jr, affectionately known as Smiley, was a beacon of light and a symbol of strength, generosity, and love. He was born on May 5, 1934, in Lancaster County, PA, and passed away peacefully on November 20, 2023, in Scotland, CT. He lived in Lebanon, CT for many years then spent 18 years living in Virginia Beach, VA. In the end, Connecticut was exactly where he wanted to be and he spent his final 19 months with his daughter Michele and son-in-law Jeff.  He was safe, happy, well fed and knew that he was loved.  A man of great character and warmth, Smiley's life was a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of love.

Smiley was a man who could light up a room with his presence, loud voice and laugh, his analytical mind always at work, solving problems and finding solutions. His handy nature was a testament to his practicality and resourcefulness. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix, or at least that’s what he thought. He was a man of immense generosity constantly giving to many of his favorite charities which included the Shriners Children’s Hospital, Multiple Sclerosis and Veterans organizations. He was a man who believed in the power of perseverance and the strength of the human spirit.

Smiley's journey began with his service in the US Navy right after high school. He was selected for the prestigious Navy Nuclear Power School in Schenectady, NY, having first completed Electricians Mate School in San Diego, CA. He departed the Navy in 1966 to be able to spend more time with and help his wife Nancy and their 3 young children.  Thank God for Nancy’s Mother Gustina “Nana” Tedeschi who lived with them on and off.  She was a Godsend and the best cook in the world.  Miles adored her and she was his surrogate Mother.  Miles embarked on successful careers at Electric Boat, Connecticut Yankee, and Northeast Utilities. His love for learning and growth was a testament to his resilience and determination.

Smiley was a man of immense pride and honor. In 1963, he became a Mason and received his 35-year pin in 1988. He joined the Sphinx Motor Patrol in 1989 and served as Captain from 1994 to 1998, and then Trustee until 2001. His dedication to his work was a testament to his commitment and integrity.

Smiley's love for travel was infectious. His adventures in the Navy and with his brothers in the Sphinx Motor Patrol took him to places far and wide. He enjoyed Florida and traveling with his dear friend Priscilla Thomson and traveled the country in an RV a couple of times with his dear friend Allen Beavers. His joy in life was palpable, his spirit indomitable.

Smiley's greatest joy, however, was his family. He leaves behind a daughter, Michele Y Cochran-Anderson and her husband Jeffrey A Anderson of Scotland, CT; and a son, George A Cochran of North Augusta, SC. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy M (Tedeschi) Cochran, and son, David W Cochran. His family was his world, his love for them boundless.  He would say one of his greatest achievements was caring for his ailing wife Nancy, who suffered with Multiple Sclerosis, until her death in 2002. He was determined to care for her at home and that’s what he did. 

In the words of Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Smiley embodied this quote. He gave his all to his family, his work, and his passions. He was a man who believed in the power of love and the strength of the human spirit. His legacy will continue to inspire and motivate us all.

Smiley's life was a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of love. His memory will continue to inspire and motivate all that knew him. His spirit will live on in the hearts of those who loved him, a beacon of light guiding us forward. Smiley, you will be dearly missed, but your legacy will live on.

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Calling Hours
December 3, 2023

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Potter Funeral Home
456 Jackson Street
Willimantic, CT 06226


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