Helen Marie Cochrane passed away on July 30, 2021 at Adventist Hospital in Simi Valley, California. She was with family when she passed.
Helen was born in Carbondale, IL on August 4, 1960 to Phil and Mary Cochrane. She was the youngest daughter in a family of six children and was known to her family as “Honey”. Helen was named after her maternal aunt Helen Wasco (deceased) and paternal aunt Helen Vedder (Champaign, IL). Helen’s parents and siblings John Robert, Philip Joseph, and Mary Theresa (Teri) preceded her in death. She is survived by sisters Peggy (Chicago, IL), Patti and husband Jim Snapp (Phoenix, AZ) and brother-in-law Tom Morgan (Belleville, IL).
Helen graduated from Carbondale Community High School and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from SIU-Carbondale. While in college she worked at SIU Student Center Catering and SIU Micrographics. Helen worked for many years at Monsanto/Searle in research and at Sprint/Ericsson as a network administrator. She was well traveled, visiting with family and friends domestically, as well as visiting Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Italy, Nova Scotia, and the Caribbean.
Helen’s favorite things included visiting the ocean and the beach, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and being with the blanket group at the 3/8 mile marker at the Fairgrounds. Helen loved good food and cooking for others. She loved animals and pre-COVID, volunteered at a local animal rescue. Helen loved listening to music and sharing tunes with her friends and on Facebook. She loved her politics. She could quote scripture like nobody’s business. She always pushed the envelope.
Her friendships with her Carbondale, IL girlfriends were important to her and she maintained life-long relationships with them. Helen will be remembered as being free-spirited, introspective and thoughtful, and as her friends would say, a “special soul”. (Friends Lydia, Suzanne, Lisa, Gretchen, Sarah and many more.)
Helen spent most of her life in the Midwest, but in 2012 she relocated to California, approaching this as a big adventure. Among many friendships she made there, her family would like to mention two who were very special and such good friends to her over the past few years: Dr. Mike, “step-brother” and Tracy, “sister-in -law”.
A celebration of Helen’s life will take place in California and Southern Illinois in the near future. The family gratefully declines flowers, but prayers, condolences and memories are gladly accepted on this site.
Donations in her memory can be made to your local Animal Shelter.