Margaret A CochraneApril 11, 1939 ~ October 4, 2017 (age 78)
Margaret Alice Cochrane was reunited with her loving husband Max when she left this world on October 4, 2017. When she passed away, she was surrounded by her four children at Lydia’s House in Albany.
Our dear Margaret will always be remembered for her pure and honest approach to life, her love for almost everyone she met, and her genuine warmth and kindness. It has been said that she never met a stranger and that was certainly true, Margaret could engage anyone in conversation.
Later in life, she befriended the staff and spread her love at the Mennonite Village where Margaret and Max moved in 2015. A mother to all, she was still hugging and kissing her family and caregivers up to her last days on this earth.
Margaret was born on April 11, 1939 in Clark, South Dakota at the “Big House” owned by her Aunt “Tops” (Alice Dowd). She was the third of four children born to Frank and Catherine O’Neil, joining her older siblings Frank and Kay (Kathryn). Many years after the birth of her youngest brother Mick, the family moved to their own “Little House” next door.
Margaret was a sweet child who had a difficult time fibbing because she was so open and honest. Her big attempt at a lie during her childhood fell flat when she played ding dong ditch with her siblings. They rang the doorbell and hid until the homeowner called out “Who’s there” to which Margaret replied; “It ain’t the O’Neil Kids”! She spent most of her childhood with her siblings, her Desnoyers family cousins and Carpenter family cousins.
To support her mother, as a teen, Margaret became the cook in the family. She continued to nurture friends and family with her food for more than 65 years.
Growing up, Margaret always lived in Clark and attended local schools until she graduated from Clark High School in 1957. Afterward, she worked as a bank teller at the local Citizens State Bank.
On New Year’s Eve 1957, Margaret did something that would change her life forever. She had been conversing with a friend of her brother, Frank at the party that night and took fate into her own hands when she kissed Max Cochrane as the countdown to the year 1958 ended. They were inseparable from that day forward and became the town’s lovebirds, holding hands everywhere and sneaking kisses in the movie theater.
In 1958, Margaret married Max, the love of her life, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Clark. They would forever remain sweethearts, sharing such gentle and respectful love for the rest of their 58 plus years together.
In 1959, they welcomed their eldest child, Cathy, and Margaret took on the only job title she ever wanted— that of Mother.
While Max attended college from 1958-61, she helped support the family as a bookkeeper at the Farmers Co-Op in Brookings, South Dakota. Their second daughter, Julie was born in 1961, followed soon after by daughter, Teresa and finally, nine years later, their son, Dan.
Margaret set up home for the family in Riggins, Idaho, Grangeville, Idaho and Missoula, Montana while Max worked for the US Forest Service. In 1969, the family moved to Corvallis so Max could attend Oregon State University and the town became their home for 46 years.
Margaret deeply admired and was forever faithful to her mother. It was from her mother that Margaret learned her mothering ability, and it was a blessing for her to stay at home while raising her four children. She loved everything about being a mother and nurturing her children, especially listening to and communicating with them.
She volunteered in several ways: PTA president for two years at Dixie Elementary, Bluebird and Brownie leader for many years, and Room Mom for one or more of her children nearly every year in elementary school.
Margaret selflessly drove her four kids back and forth to all their sporting events in and around Corvallis. She and Max enjoyed attending Dan’s baseball games, Julie’s soccer and tennis matches and gymnastics meets as well as all their children’s track meets. No matter what the event, Margaret and Max were there and you could hear Mom’s cheers of support from the stands (for her grandchildren too).
Margaret, Max and several other spirited Corvallis High School parents were collectively known as “the Mamas and the Papas” in the early 80’s. They wore powder blue and white to every game (home and away) and were avid supporters of their daughters’ (Cathy and Teresa) volleyball and basketball teams.
Margaret was also a devoted member of the St Mary’s Parish in Corvallis and later in Albany.
After many years of being a homemaker, Margaret re-entered the workforce in 1987 to work as a bookkeeper for Dr. Monty Ellison in Albany where she worked for many years.
Margaret is survived by her three daughters, Cathy Heath (Tom) of Corvallis, Julie Cope (Tom) of Albany, and Teresa Post (Ken) of Burlingame, California; son Dan Cochrane (Jennifer) of Bend; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and siblings Frank O’Neil, (Kathryn) Kay O’Neil and Michael (Mick) O’Neil.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Max Cochrane; and her parents Frank and Catherine O’Neil.
The family would like to thank the caregivers at Lydia’s House in the Mennonite Village for all their loving care of and devotion to our mother. The family is also grateful to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice for their respect and care for our mother during her last weeks.
The family will have a private burial ceremony.