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Life dedicated to public service

December 13, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

Robert Cochrun chose to do what so many have decided isn't worth the time.

Cochrun dedicated 38 years of his life to public service for the village of Wintersville.

He died on Dec. 5 at the age of 74.

His public service career began Jan. 1, 1974, when he first was elected to Village Council. He served that post until he was elected mayor in 1996. He served two terms as mayor before returning to council in 2006. He was a member of council at the time of his passing.

Mr. Cochrun truly cared about people and their problems and concerns. Pity the poor village worker or official who was on the receiving end of a complaint call from Cochrun. He kept calling back until the matter was resolved, regardless of the magnitude.

It is hard to list Cochrun's accomplishments throughout his nearly four decades of service. He worked to get the village's first cable television service and brought bus service for village residents. He obtained benefits for village workers and sought help in getting Main Street and Fernwood Road widened. He respected and trusted the village police department and was able to get the first grant for a juvenile officer. He established a village administrator position and helped with the implementation of a village wage tax. His accomplishments also included the move to the new village municipal complex on Grove Street and the development of subdivisions and help for businesses to locate and grow in the village.

He was recognized for his work with the Wintersville and Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission lifetime achievement awards.

The village also named a street after him, something that really made him proud.

Mr. Cochrun touched generations in Wintersville and joined the list of people who spent most of their lives serving the village. That list includes Ray Laman, Frank Layman and John Martin.

Public service is overlooked by many today. There just isn't enough time in the day, some claim, but Mr. Cochrun found the time, and his decades of service are noted and respected.

His presence in the village will be missed, but his dedication to the village should be an inspiration for someone else to come forward and help lead the way.

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