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Richard B. Cochran Jr., Bel Air resident and retired steel salesman, dies

Richard Bruce Cochran Jr., a retired steel salesman who specialized in products used by railroads, died Nov. 18 from prostate cancer at his Bel Air home.

He was 76.

He was the son of Richard B. Cochran Sr., president of the Ender Coal & Coke Co., and his wife, Margaret Ann Fairman, a homemaker. He was born in Chicago and raised in Hinsdale, Ill., where he graduated from Hinsdale High School.

Mr. Cochran was a 1964 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and received a degree in economics and history.

After college he began a 39-year career with Bethlehem Steel Corp., working in its New York office.

He moved to Baltimore, where he specialized in selling steel products used by the nation’s railroads.

In 1982 Mr. Cochran was named assistant manager of railroad products at Bethlehem Steel’s headquarters in Bethlehem, Pa. He then became assistant plate manager in 1984, a position he held until 1993 when a corporate reorganization sent him to Baltimore as manager of plate product marketing.

He remained in that assignment at Sparrows Point and Coatesville, Pa., until retiring in 2003.

Mr. Cochran’s professional memberships including serving on the boards of the Steel Service Institute and the American Institute of Steel.

From 2003 to 2005, he was executive director of the United States Maglev Corp., and for the last three years of his career in the steel industry he was a plate products sales consultant for Baltimore Steel Products.

He retired in 2008.

He enjoyed spending summers at a family cabin in Plum Lake, Wis., where he was a longtime member of the Plum Lake Association.

Mr. Cochran was a kidney transplant survivor for eight years. His wife of 49 years, the former Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Egan, said he was the recipient of a kidney from Jeff Springer, a close Bel Air friend.

Mr. Cochran was an avid reader and golfer and had been a member of the Sparrows Point Country Club and the Maryland Golf and Country Club in Bel Air.

He was a communicant of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 303 N. Main St., Bel Air, where a memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 5.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Cochran is survived by his son, Tommy Cochran of Pittsburgh; a daughter, Christy Cochran Sheehan of North Palm Beach, Fla.; two brothers, Bill Cochran of Seattle and Mike Cochran of Punta Gorda, Fla; a sister, Ann Willer of Des Moines; and four grandchildren.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen

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