Don Rodney Cochran

Don Rodney Cochran, 71, passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2023, with his family by his side.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Cynthia Schatz Cochran, his three children, and their spouses, Woody and Cameron Patrick, Virginia and Tyler Baldwin, and Jake and Evie Cochran. Known as “Cool Daddy” to his six grandchildren, he was so proud of his Moon Pups – Ellie, Leta, Woodfin, Libba, Kipps, and Jane. Don is also survived by his sister, Debbie, and brothers Johnathan and Jimbo. He was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia and Edward Cochran, and his brother and best friend, Charlie.

Don was born on September 15, 1951, in Christiansburg, Virginia. He spent his childhood terrorizing the streets of Hilton Village with his siblings and neighborhood friends.

Don attended Hilton Elementary School and then Warwick High School. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a degree in History and then attended Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William & Mary. Although he was a lawyer by trade, the majority of his career was spent following in his father’s footsteps and running Cochran Construction Company.

He was a diehard Redskins fan. He loved the water – whether it be the beach, a boat ride, fishing, or spending a day by the James River in his childhood backyard. Don loved music, a good steak, and a Rebel Yell on the rocks.

Don will be remembered for his quick wit- always having a slick comeback. He was an advocate for the underdog, a voracious reader, and so darn smart. He will be remembered as the best husband, father, Cool Daddy, and friend.

Don’s family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Riverside Hospital for their care and compassion.

Don’s only request for his obituary was to make it known that “he never lost a polo match.”

A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. at the James River County Club.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.


  1. Henry Morgan

    An honest man, good for his word and a bunch of fun. Beautiful family that he dearly loved. Solved many of the world’s problems at a watering hole over at Aberdeen and Briarfield. What was his record re: polo matches?

  2. JoAnn Wells

    Memories of Don will forever remain in my heart. He was a wonderful friend to both Bob and I… like a brother to me during my college days. My heart hurts for the whole Cochran family as sudden loss is a very difficult journey … sending lots of love and prayers your way!

  3. Charlie Chapman

    A friend from WHS and was a genuine guy. Spent the nights at his home, swam at Hilton Pier and was a friend to me. Blessings on his family at this time and always.

  4. Wayne A. Bacon

    Debbie, I am very sorry that I won’t be able to attend Don’s Celebration of life. I truly loved Don and all the mischief we had together growing up. I will always remember Don and the parties had at home with the Rebel Yell of Big Ed’s!

  5. Patricia Wingfield

    We will miss you Don! Your quick wit and smirky smile will always be remembered! Much love to your family ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Patti and Chuck

  6. Tim Fisher

    A special companion with whom I cherished opportunities to engage in silly repartee (often to defuse serious topics), biting quips and catch-up on kids and grandkids (ironically, which kept us otherwise engaged and geographically distant). Truly unique, very bright and sincerely one of my favorite people….. I will truly miss him. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wonderful family.

  7. Randy Elder

    I am sorry to hear of Don’s passing. I hadn’t seen him for several years. I knew him when I worked at Warwick Air and he was at Cochran’s. He was a first class guy, friend and great to work with. RIP Don. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

  8. Donna Porterfield Griffith

    Cindy and family, my most sincere sympathy in the loss of your loved one. May you find peace in your happy memories of him.❤️

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