Obituary – James Wallace Cochrane ,75, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at Community Hospital of heart failure.
James “Jim” was born on September 17, 1942 in Butte, Montana to John Wallace Cochrane and Kathryn Veronika Hartwig. Jim grew up on a family owned ranch in Dillon, Montana. His family later moved to Missoula where he attended elementary school at Paxson. He graduated from Sentinel High School where he excelled in Math and Chemistry classes. He enjoyed all subjects and was in Future Farmers of America.
Jim went on to serve for the United States Navy where he received an honorable discharge. After returning from naval service, he became a lineman and was employed at Missoula Cable TV. On April 18, 1964 he married Shirley Palmer in Coeurd’Alene, Idaho. They resided in Hamilton, Montana where he managed the service for the local cable TV company, Bannack Cable of Pocatello.
Later, he and a partner took an opportunity to build a complete cable TV system for the Orofino, Pierce, and Weippe area. He owned and operated the company until joining the Peace Corps in 1984 to serve in Mali, Africa.
Jim returned to Idaho where he negotiated large land trades between federal and state agencies, private landowners and Native American tribes of the Northwest. This career was his love and the crowning joy of his life largely because he saw and worked on extraordinary lands and met and worked with fascinating people. He also worked with the Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming. He was instrumental in mapping and road development, as well as designing and building water distribution. He had deep respect for the natural beauty of the land and animals and he went out of his way to care for both. He would even venture out in the dead of winter to ensure the cattle had enough food to survive.
He also volunteered in his community by serving on the City Council and the Orofino Fire Department. He operated all types of heavy machinery and equipment and had a great affinity for how things worked. He enjoyed classical music in his spare time, but his greatest devotion was to the preservation of nature. Jim was a true conservationist.
He is survived by his daughter, Sheila Sargent of Post Falls, Idaho and his twin grandsons Jason and Justin Sargent of Montana.
A private grave site service will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery. A memorial mass service will be held at a later date.