In Memoriam

William Cochran

William Cochran

January 2015

William Sherrard Cochran, Nashville business and community leader, devoted husband, father, and grandfather, died suddenly on January 1, 2015 at age 77. He left this world as he had lived in it -- with vigorous enthusiasm, a warm curiosity, and a healthy dose of irreverent humor.

Bill is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Anita; their children, Jean Cochran DuBose (Richard DuBose), Elizabeth Kirby Cochran (Tom Stinson), and William Sherrard Cochran Jr, (Eden Wolfe); grandchildren, Kirby Hardaway DuBose, John Sherrard DuBose, William Manning DuBose, and Ivy Mae Cochran; and brother, Robert Taylor Cochran, Jr. He is preceded in death by his parents, Elma Sherrard and Robert Taylor Cochran.

A Nashville native, Bill graduated from Hillsboro High School and Vanderbilt University. In early 1960, he took three important steps that set the course for his life: he joined the Northwestern Mutual, he married Anita Kirby, and made his first donation to the United Way. For the next 55 years, Bill would continue to build on this foundation of family, business, and giving back to his community

At age 30, Bill was the youngest person to ever be appointed as managing partner for Northwestern Mutual nationwide. During his 35-year tenure as managing partner, he had the good fortune to be deeply involved in work that was life-giving to him. Through his work, he embodied two of his core values: fiscal responsibility and mentoring by example. His passion and commitment to his work was honored by the numerous awards and distinctions he received.

Bill was an energetic philanthropist and one of the city's most dedicated volunteer leaders, helping raise millions of dollars for a broad range of nonprofits, particularly those with a human service and/or educational mission. He served on numerous business and community boards including Vanderbilt Medical Center Board of Trust, United Way Tocqueville Society, Montgomery Bell Academy, TPAC Foundation, Regions Foundation, Abe's Garden and the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

Following a private family burial, a visitation will be held at 11:00am on Monday, January 5, in the Cheek House at First Presbyterian Church. A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm in the sanctuary.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the charity of your choice.