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ObituarySouth: Thomas P. Cochrane / Seminary student, Mt. Lebanon soccer player in the '70s

Thursday, May 23, 2002

By Al Lowe, Tri-State Sports & News Service

Thomas P. Cochrane, a Mt. Lebanon High School soccer player in the 1970s, gave up a successful corporate career to enter the ministry.

"Quite frankly, it took a lot of courage for him to make that choice," his brother, Kenneth, of Harvard, Mass., said.

Mr. Cochrane, 43, was scheduled to graduate tomorrow from Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine but died May 11 in an accident in Wilton when his car collided with a pickup truck.

Two children, Gretchen, 12, and Ian, 4, were injured but are recovering at Maine Medical Center.

Mr. Cochrane was always very athletic. He played in Little League and was very good at high school soccer. He also played varsity soccer at Lafayette College, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1981.

He was also president of Zeta Psi fraternity. "He was a team player. Inclusion in the community meant a lot to him," his brother said.

Mr. Cochrane dated his wife-to-be Cynthia when he was a junior and she was a sophomore. They married in September 1981, three months after he graduated from college.

He got a job with International Paper and worked in paper mills in Ticonderoga, N.Y.; Lock Haven, Clinton County; and Jay, Maine. "He worked his way up to assistant plant manager," his brother said.

Mr. Cochrane decided three years ago to enter the seminary and become a Congregational minister.

"There was no big event in his life, like divorce or death, that convinced him to do it," his brother said. "It was something he had been thinking about for some time. His hobby, his interest was people. He went out of his way to get to know others. He was an upbeat, happy guy who was devoted to his wife and children."

The family intends to attend the seminary graduation ceremony to pick up Mr. Cochrane's degree.

Besides his wife, children Gretchen and Ian and his brother Kenneth, Mr. Cochrane is survived by another daughter, Maria; another son, Tommy; his parents, George and Jinny of Mt. Lebanon; and another brother, Bill, of Crafton.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Wilton Congregational Church in Maine.

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