Alice Juanita (Nita) Cochrane

Alice Juanita (Nita) Cochrane of Weldon, NC passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 of complications resulting from a fall in December of 2016. She was born June 19, 1942 and lived her adult life in Weldon after graduation from East Carolina University in l964.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Haywood Day Cochrane, Sr. and Frances Parks Cochrane, whom she loved dearly and cared for selflessly. She is survived by brothers Haywood Day Cochrane Jr. of Chapel Hill, NC, Luther Parks Cochrane (Margaret) of Charleston, SC, nieces Elizabeth Cochrane Gorman of Colorado Springs, Colo., Kathryn Cochrane Elison (Jed) of St Paul, Minn. and Margaret Parks Cochrane of Charleston, SC; nephews, Matthew Parks Cochrane (Meg) of Charlotte, NC, Robert Street Cochrane of Charleston, SC, Haywood D. Cochrane III (Hayes) of Chapel Hill, NC, Alexander Rogers Cochrane of Chapel Hill, NC and Parks Day Cochrane of Charleston, SC, as well as four grandnieces and nephews and four cousins.

Nita was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, surrogate grandmother for the last decade, friend to so many, educator, caregiver to those in need and faithful servant of the Lord and a sustainer of Grace Episcopal Church in Weldon, NC where she worshipped all her life and held every post imaginable from Treasure to Junior Warden to Senior Warden. From her seat in the back row, she breathed life into a church that meant so much to her. She truly lived a life of caring for others, giving tirelessly of her energy and attention.

As an educator, she first taught and inspired generations of students in the Roanoke Rapids Schools and then became a principal, ending her career there with many honors and as Assistant Superintendent of the Roanoke Rapids City School System. One of the things she cherished was to be recognized and approached by former students to be told what a difference she made in their lives. Nita was an avid reader, a follower of local, state and national politics and a lover of all things Tar Heel, clearly more of a fan than her siblings and those nieces and nephews who attended UNC Chapel Hill. The quiet competitor in her loved TV game shows where her intellect and broad knowledge would have made her a successful Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune contestant. She was a great cook and took pleasure in making birthdays and holidays special and fattening especially with her carrot cake. Over the last twenty years or so, as the population of Weldon aged, it was Nita who brought joy to many less mobile, older friends with her calls and visits, usually accompanied by something she had cooked.

Most of all, Nita loved her family. How she had the time to do all that she did, from taking care of her parents to talking every day to her brothers, to tirelessly and lovingly interacting with and guiding her nieces and nephews, dispensing advice and wisdom, serving as family historian, inspiring achievement without pressure and generally being the glue in a very far flung family, is amazing. She never missed a birthday or special occasion and was the voice we all listened to when wisdom was needed. She kept in contact with her cousins and more distant relatives and functioned as the center of all things family, a calendar before the Iphone and a communicator who preferred the phone to email or text. No one gave more of herself to family than Nita and no one set a better example of how to put love of family first.

Nita had a sense of humor and enjoyed a witty comment and a good joke. She loved being around like minded people and found her times with the Thursday Afternoon Club particularly rewarding.

The family wishes to express particular appreciation to Brandon Gorman, whose calls and visits brightened her days and served to remind her just how great her influence was on family.

A service to celebrate her life will be held Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 2 PM at Grace Episcopal Church in Weldon, NC with Rev. Ben Duffey officiating. Burial to follow in Cedarwood Cemetery in Weldon.

The family will receive friends from 12:45 to 1:45 in the parish house with light refreshments being served.

In lieu of flowers, please consider Grace Episcopal Church in Weldon, NC which meant so much to Nita.

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