Rogers Cockrell, maintenance director and veteran, dies

Rogers Cockrell, former director of maintenance for Day Village Townhomes and Apartments in Dundalk and a Vietnam War veteran, died July 26 from renal failure at the Loch Raven Veterans Administration Medical Center in Northeast Baltimore. He was 69.

He was born and raised in Turners Station, where he spent his entire life. He was the son of Jesse Cockrell, a Bethlehem Steel Corp. steelworker, and Hattie Belle Thomas Cockrell, a cook.

He was a 1966 graduate of Sollers Point High School and a member of its last segregated graduating class, family members said.

Mr. Cockrell was drafted into the Army in 1968 and completed a tour as a special cook with the Food Service Division, assigned to a general.

After being discharged in 1972, he went to work at the Point Breeze works of the old Western Electric Co., which later became Lucent Technologies. The plant manufactured wires, cords and undersea cables for the telephone company.

When Western Electric closed its plant in 1984, Mr. Cockrell started a home improvement business, which he operated until 1988 when he joined Day Village Townhomes and Apartments as director of maintenance.

He retired in 1998, and in appreciation for his work the company named a street, Rogers Cockrell Lane, for him in 2001.

Mr. Cockrell, who was known as “Bumb,” enjoyed carpentry and cooking and entertaining family and friends. He was especially known for his salads and baking, family members said.

He was a Baltimore Ravens and Orioles fan and liked to listen to blues and jazz music. He also enjoyed writing poetry.

Mr. Cockrell was a longtime member of New Shiloh Baptist Church in Turners Station, where funeral services were held Saturday.

He is survived by two sons, Roger Cockrell Jr. of Turners Station and Randy Cockrell of York, Pa.; brothers Jesse Cockrell of Baltimore and John Thomas Cockrell of Accokeek; a sister, Shirley Collins of Woodlawn; and four grandsons. His marriage to the former Patricia Elizabeth Brehon ended in divorce.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen

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