Obituary: Charles W. Cochran

Charles Cochran
Posted at 11:34 AM, Apr 01, 2022

Charles “Charlie” Cochran, 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 30, 2022.

Charles was the first born to Joe and Selma (Walker) Cochran on October 18, 1930. His love of the outdoors fishing and hunting was fueled by growing up on the family ranch on Beaver Creek near Nelson MT. His grade school education was at the one room school on Beaver Creek. He, along with his younger brother David, would ride a saddle horse double to and from school. Once his sister Jo Anne started school, they graduated to a one horse buggy. Dad, being the oldest, was responsible for adding coal to the school furnace along with making sure that their “school bus” had food and water for the day.

While most of the work on the ranch was done horseback, Dad preferred the chores that involved the tools that had more horsepower. His first words as a baby were Vroom, Vroom… started his passion for anything that was mechanically driven.

Upon graduation from Helena High in 1949, he enlisted in the US Air Force, serving honorably for 2 years. He joined the MT National Guard in 1958 starting as a mechanic working on tanks. During his career, he worked thru the ranks to the position of CW4 – Chief Warrant Officer 4 – and was the first Safety Specialist of the MT National Guard.

On March 13, 1954, Charlie married the love of his life, Joyce McClellan. Early in their marriage they both enjoyed the many Saturday night stock car races with Dad being the mechanic and his best friend Dick Gross driving. Dad also had a love for restoring any car from “rusty to shiny” and always had a project going on.

When he retired from the MT National Guard in 1990, he and mom took multiple road trips to the West Coast to deep sea fish, dig clams, see the Golden Gate Bridge and drive up Highway 101. Dad was very active in Capital Carriages Car Club taking many of his classic cars on the tours and to the car shows all around the Northwest.

After Mom’s passing in 1999 he volunteered at the MT National Guard thrift shop. He enjoyed the company along with contributing to the stories told by all the retirees there.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Selma, wife Joyce, brother David, sister Jo Anne, niece Tracey and close friend Freda Estes.

Charles is survived by his daughters, Linda (Dave) Bossell, Leslie (Terry) Olson, granddaughter Stephanie Bossell, great granddaughter Becca House (JR) and great grandson Brandon.

A special thank you to the Rocky Mountain Care Center staff, especially TJ and Barb, for all of your loving care of Pops.

The family request that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Helena or the Lewis and Clark Humane Society.

A Viewing will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 8, 2022 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N Montana Ave., followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home. A Reception will be held in the Social Hall of the funeral home after the service. Burial with Military Honors will be held at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Fort Harrison following the reception. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Charles.