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  1. Nicole Layden
    February 25, 2020 @ 12:19 pm

    Russ Cochran was a highly talented photographer. He brought out deep emotions that were reflected in his photographs. Russ and his many talented accomplishments will surely be missed.


  2. Eva Jane Johnston
    February 25, 2020 @ 4:47 pm

    Russell Van was our cousin and like a brother to us when we were growing up. He had so much talent and he will be missed by so many!
    With much love,

    Eva Jane (Hard) Johnston


  3. William Joe Pyles
    February 27, 2020 @ 2:21 pm

    Russ your wit, talent and knowledge always mentored me. You will be missed. God Bless you!


  4. William Joe Pyles
    February 29, 2020 @ 3:35 am

    In Memory of Russ Cochran, west Plains, Missouri

    Small towns of America all have one. Commonality in culture seems always to nurture unique individuals in communities to take leadership to cause small towns if not to overtly prosper at least to continue to survive. These individuals mostly seem to return to their home towns realizing the satisfaction of life more important than other endeavors of success.

    Home town lures have wonderful stories of modern day pioneers who restore old buildings, anchor niche marketing enterprises, give notice to rich local history and gather around in friendships the core interest sparkles of rich American patriotic nationalism.

    Russ Cochran championed revival of his hometown in more ways than just
    restoring buildings. He revived art, literature, music and progressive thinking.
    He showed how appreciation of all things academic could also be woven into a love of all creatures, human and animal, with his worldly acceptance of natural law.

    Perhaps this trait stemmed from his youthful perceptions of Tarzan comics and movies or his ventures in the woods and rivers or his upbringing or his education.
    I am sure if you asked him he would have told you of the somethings which molded his adult years.

    He once told me he would have liked to have been Mayor of his home town. He would have made a good one.

    Growing older Russ did not remedy as well the twilight of life as we would have wished. But to this opinion of him I hold true. He contributed outwardly to his fellow man great thoughts of compassion for the revelry of small town living, the improvement of just causes and the spirit of individually well lived fully understood in confidences of self esteem.

    I am sorry to lose Russ but wish him well as he now critiques God in heaven above.

    William Joe Pyles


    • Debbie (Shannon) Pettit
      March 2, 2020 @ 3:29 pm

      Joe, what a beautiful tribute! Thank you so much. I remember you and your mom, Babe, so fondly.


  5. Angie Falwell
    March 1, 2020 @ 6:34 pm

    I’m so very sorry for the families loss of their beloved father, husband, brother, friend.. You are all in my thoughts and prayers


  6. Debbie (Shannon) Pettit
    March 2, 2020 @ 3:28 pm

    I was very lucky to work with Russ at the West Plains Gazette. He has done so much to preserve the history of our beautiful town, and he will be missed.


  7. Carl Oscar Johnson
    March 3, 2020 @ 2:34 pm

    I will miss visiting with Russ those many years I lived and worked in West Plains and at times when I have returned to our hometown. He always had a wealth of knowledge about music, movies and history. His work to preserve the history of the Ozarks and restoration of historic buildings in West Plains is outstanding and will long be remembered. Condolences to his family.


  8. Kathy Beaty
    March 3, 2020 @ 4:57 pm

    So sorry for your loss.
    He was a wonderful guy to share his stories with us all in print.
    He will be missed by all who knew him.
    Kathy Bray Beaty


  9. Frank Nuessel
    April 2, 2020 @ 7:09 pm

    Russ Cochran made EC comics fans very happy with his reprints of the original EC comics. I met him once in New York City in the 1990s. He was a very kind and gracious person. He will be missed.


  10. Frank Nuessel
    April 2, 2020 @ 7:10 pm

    Russ Cochran revived EC comics through his reprints over the years. He brought a lot of happiness to EC fans. We all thank him for this great contribution.


  11. Dan Atha
    May 22, 2020 @ 6:14 pm

    Russ was a classmate of mine (WPHS 55). He was always full of pep and fun. He was
    a super student. I took physics class with him and he would go several grading periods without missing a problem and I was struggling to make C’s. He was always
    friendly and warm and receptive to people. I admire all that he and Shirley accomplished in their lives, especially the development of the West Plains Gazette
    magazines (I have each issue they published) and still enjoy going through them.
    West Plains is fortunate to have a native son named Russell Cochran. May God give
    Russ and his family peace and joy for a life well lived.


  12. rich cochran
    January 3, 2024 @ 11:39 pm

    I have waited a bit, on purpose; to leave my condolences to the family of Russel Van Cochran; of which I am one. It has taken me this long to gather my thoughts. Although Russ was known as my Father’s brother and my Uncle, to me he was always like a big brother. He was a physically strong man. I remember when I built the sign on the west side of Washington Avenue, where “down town” ends at the Broadway crossing, it was really simple masonry, but I could not lift the caps for the pillars by myself. I couldnt think of anyone to call, except Uncle Russ. He showed up on foot within 15 minutes of my call, and we set those stone caps together. I have alot of memories of Russ, and that is a good one. I was impressed by his physical strength, as it was all I could do to hold up my side of the caps, and it seemed as if it was effortless to him. Going back to about 1977, I will also never forget him remembering me, including me, and gifting me with a Yamaha Moto-Bike when he moved back to West Plains from Adel, Iowa. Vance, Jack and I roamed the town on those bikes, thank the Lord we didn’t injure ourselves worse than we DID. Russ wasn’t even mad when us boys got policemen Shepard and Lambe after us for “speeding” down (then South Hill) Aid Avenue on home made “chopper bicycles” at 38mph, in a 25mph zone. Russ taught me a lot; but the greatest wisdom he ever imparted on me was to not be afraid to take a gamble if you believe in it, because “you win some; you lose some”. Thanks, Russel Van; for the memories.


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