Sunday, April 28, 2013
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JOHN 'JC' COCHRANE,

CAPTAIN EXTRAORDINAIRE

LONGTIME KEY WEST RESIDENT JOHN HUNTER COCHRANE JR., KNOWN TO ALL AS "JC," PASSED AWAY ON SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013. JC LEFT THIS MORTAL COIL IN A FASHION MOST FITTING -- AT THE HELM OF HIS 28-FOOT CAPE DORY SLOOP, ISLAND, IN THE WATERS OFF BIMINI, HIS LIFE'S LOVE, KATHRYN "KAT" MURPHY, AT HIS SIDE.

CAPT. JC WAS BORN TO JOHN H. COCHRANE SR. AND SALLY COCHRANE (NéE MORGAN) (BOTH DECEASED), IN BALTIMORE, MD., ON MARCH 31, 1951. HE TOOK UP SAILING IN CAPE MAY, N.J., IN 1964 AT AGE 13, AND WON A SHELF-FULL OF TROPHIES AT THE CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB, WHERE HIS FAMILY MAINTAINED A MEMBERSHIP. JC LEARNED TO FISH AT THE KNEE OF HIS PATERNAL GRANDFATHER, LAURENCE COCHRANE (ALSO DECEASED), ABOARD THE LATTER'S ANCIENT 29-FOOT PACEMAKER FISHING BOAT, SEA MEW. WHETHER POWERED BY MOTOR OR SAIL, IF IT FLOATED, JC COULD PILOT IT, THROUGH WEATHER FOUL OR FAIR.

BEFORE MAKING KEY WEST HIS HOME, JC ATTENDED BOYS' LATIN SCHOOL AND CITY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL IN BALTIMORE, AND ROLLINS COLLEGE IN WINTER PARK, FLA. HE ALSO SPENT A YEAR WITH A BUDDY ROAMING YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK ON HORSEBACK, AND ANOTHER WORKING ON A TUGBOAT OUT OF NEW ORLEANS. FROM KEY WEST, HE TOOK MANY A VOYAGE, INCLUDING EXTENDED STAYS ON THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF BELIZE, AND ON ISLA MARGARITA, OFF THE VENEZUELAN COAST, BUT ALWAYS TACKED BACK TO HIS HOME PORT IN THE ISLAND CITY.

JC HAD THAT BUNDLE OF SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY CHARACTERISTICS THAT IS THE SPECIAL GIFT OF THE GAELIC: AS HARD AS HICKORY ON ONE HAND, AS SOFT AS WARM CARAMEL ON THE OTHER; HE COULD BE AS STUBBORN AS PIG IRON, OR AS LOOSE, FLEXIBLE, AND GIVING AS A WELL-WORN BUNGEE CORD; OCCASIONALLY PIT-BULL PUGNACIOUS IF YOU GOT ON HIS WRONG SIDE, BUT MORE OFTEN AS FRIENDLY AND OPEN AS A LOYAL RETRIEVER. HE COULD DELIVER AN OUTRAGEOUS TALL TALE WITH ONE BREATH, AND THE COOL UNVARNISHED TRUTH WITH THE NEXT. HIS FACE WAS PERMANENTLY CRINKLED IN SMILE, HIS KEEN EYE SET ON THE HUMOR INHERENT IN ANY SITUATION, BE IT RIDICULOUS OR DIRE.

IN ADDITION TO FIANCEE KAT MURPHY, JC IS SURVIVED BY A BROTHER, PAUL COCHRANE; A SISTER, ALEXANDRA ("BABBY") COCHRANE RODMAN; AND THREE NEPHEWS, ANDREW AND JOHN RODMAN, AND PAUL COCHRANE JR. FOR THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST, JC WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEWHERE ON THE HIGH SEAS, A STEADY HAND ON THE HELM OF A SEAWORTHY VESSEL. MAY THERE ALWAYS BE A FRESH BREEZE AT YOUR BACK, BROTHER, AND HOME PORT JUST OVER THE HORIZON.

PLEASE JOIN JC'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR A CELEBRATION OF A LIFE LIVED FULLY, STARTING AT 3 P.M. SHARP ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, AT THE HOGFISH BAR AND GRILL ON STOCK ISLAND. WEATHER PERMITTING, WE'LL BE MAKING A BOAT TRIP FROM THERE TO SPREAD HIS ASHES UPON MOTHER OCEAN.