Terry Cochran, a business executive and veteran trustee of the Los Rios Community College District, died Friday of complications from sinus cancer, his family said. He was 74.
Mr. Cochran was on the Los Rios board since 1996, representing Folsom and most of El Dorado County. In 2012, The Bee endorsed him for re-election to his fifth term in an editorial that noted his active role in monitoring the district’s finances and his support for “good relations with faculty and staff – and a culture of shared governance.”
He served terms on the board as president and vice president. He was involved in recruiting district Chancellor Brian King and his predecessor, Brice Harris.
“Terry always approached his service on the board with passion, prudence and commitment,” King said in a written statement. “He cared deeply about our students and was a wonderful colleague to those with whom he served.”
Mr. Cochran, who was also a lawyer, brought strong corporate experience to higher education. He began his business career at Kaiser Steel and worked at McKesson Corp. in San Francisco and General Tire in Ohio. He joined Aerojet Corp. in Rancho Cordova and retired as vice president of human resources.
“He worked closely with unions in business, and that served him very well at Los Rios,” said his wife, Mary. “He had a very good relationship with the Los Rios teachers union.”
The son of a sawmill worker, Terry Lee Cochran was born July 22, 1939, in Portland, Ore., and grew up in Oregon and Northern California. He earned an economics degree and a master of business administration degree from UC Berkeley and a law degree from Golden Gate University. During the 1960s, he served in the Air Force as a pilot and military intelligence officer.
Mr. Cochran, who worked in recent years as an executive search consultant, volunteered in the community as a member of Rotary International and local chambers of commerce. He coached a youth basketball team and judged high school speech contests. He was active with the American River College and Folsom Lake College foundations.
He won trophies as an amateur golfer and owned an impressive collection of vinyl records reflecting his eclectic tastes in classical, jazz, rock and new age music. His home library included many books on favorite subjects, including history, the Civil War and World War II.
“He valued education highly,” his wife said. “He wanted to help make it available to everybody, not just people who had a lot of money or could get scholarships.”
In addition to his wife, survivors include his mother, Elizabeth and daughters Eryn and Alexandra. A celebration of life is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Garden Room at St. John the Baptist Church, 307 Montrose Drive, Folsom.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mr. Cochran may be made to the Los Rios Foundation, 1919 Spanos Court, Sacramento, CA 95852; or to Snowline Hospice, www.snowlinehospice.org.
Call The Bee’s Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Davila.