Roz Cochrane, beloved and admired mother, grandmother, and great- grandmother, surrounded by family and her beloved dog Gator, died Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at her home in Billings, Montana. She was ninety-eight years old.
Roz, born Rosamond Dunham MacRae, in Bridgewater Massachusetts, April 23, 1911, held a bachelor’s degree from Emerson College where she studied acting and won the lead in the senior class play. After a brief stint at producing plays in small towns back East, she gave up acting and married her high school sweetheart, Archie Cochrane. Archie and Roz started a family in Dearborn, Michigan where they produced four daughters: Rae, Martha, Rosalind and Kathleen. In 1945, Roz followed her heart again and moved with Archie to Billings where their last daughter Jean was born.
Very few who met Roz could forget her. She was talented, bright, and witty, with a dry sense of humor; a fun-loving person dedicated to her family, community, nature, the arts, and ideas — an explorer in every sense of the word. She liked people and the home she created was always open to others.
As her children grew, she not only tended to all the many chores of caring for a large household, she sewed, knitted and gardened, producing fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. Roz loved the arts. She wrote poetry, explored ceramics and painting. But her first love was music. She studied piano for many years. Eventually, she and three friends, formed the First Billings Piano Quartet and were able to perform with the Billings Symphony as well as give concerts of their own.
Over the years, the list of her participation in community activities grew long. She was one of the originators of the Mental Health Services in Montana and Wyoming, initiated the Pastoral Counseling program in Billings; served on the Board for Rocky Mountain College, was president of her local PEO Chapter and, in 1989, became one of the first women to be honored as “Woman of the Year” by the Billings YWCA. She supported the Billings Symphony, The Alberta Bair Theater and The Billings Studio Theater.
In her middle years, she earned a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling from MSUB, volunteered her musical skills to help kids at the Boys and Girls Ranch, volunteered for the school district and the Alzheimer’s program at St. John’s. In 1977, she lost her beloved husband whom we trust she is now on her way to rejoin.
Fascinated by other cultures, and world religions, Roz was fortunate to have been able to follow dreams that led her outside of Montana. She visited many countries, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, India, Iran, Peru, Iceland and Tibet to name a few. In Nepal, she shared a hearty laugh with the Dali Lama.
Those she left behind will miss and remember always her devilish little smile: Rae McNiel (husband Bob) of Kansas, Martha Cochrane of Billings, Rosalind Cochrane of Louisville, Colorado, Kathleen Cochrane of Billings and Jean Wallace (husband David) of Ryegate. Roz has fourteen grand children, and thirty-one great-grand children. She is also survived by one brother, Douglas McRae and his sons all of Billings; Garene Cochrane of Big Fork, MT; Jeff and Janice Cochrane of Billings and numerous nieces and nephews.
The date and time of Rosamond’s memorial service will be announced at a later date. We request that memorial gifts be donated to Riverstone Health Hospice Services whose nurses and caregivers have, for the past two years, been a significant and blessed help in the care of our mother.
After growing up on Upper Highwood Drive for over 19 years, I really got to know Mrs. Cochrane. Since I can remember my brother and I would pull the wagon up to her driveway and ride it to the end of the block. She always used to spoil my golden retriever, Cindy with milk bones. When ever I was selling something, Girl Scout cookies, pumpkins and gourds, magazines or even taking donations for The Heart Association she was always so willing to help me out. I used to ride/walk my bike up her driveway just to swing on her swing on summer days but only for a few minutes as she greeted me from her door. I remember she called me at home and asked “did you lose your bunny? There is a little black and white bunny living in my wood pile?” Growing up on Upper Highwood my brother and I were the only children on the block for over ten years and we sure did have neighbors that spoiled us like grandchildren, Mrs. Cochrane was one of them. She will be greatly missed. What a wonderful women that touched so many lives. Lacey Dauenhauer
We think of Roz and Archie a lot because they especially took the time to take care of us and are new family in new surroundings when we moved to Billings from California. The were very special people. You all are in are thoughts and prayers. Fond memories Love Paul and Bunny Allen
To the Cochrane Family, May each of you find comfort in knowing that God is “near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” (Psalm 34;18) He has promised to soon “swallow up death forever…and wipe the tears from all faces.” (Isaiah 25;8) Take care, Valerie Thompson
Roz was a beautiful lady. She was a friend of my parents George and Helen Myers. I knew her through them. I always remember her warm smile and laughter. She always made everyone feel at home and welcome. Know now that she is a new star in the heavens watching over each of you. God Bless Julie Myers O’Dell
I felt very close to Aunt Rosamond even though I did not often visit Billings to see her and other members of the family. Aunt Rosamond knew that I had a special interest in the visual arts, and perhaps that affinity for things creative and unconventional is the reason I came to regard her as my own “Auntie Mame.” Condolences to my five cousins and their extended families. Laura H. Chapman
I am sorry to hear of the passing of this wonderful woman. I wish I had had the good fortune of knowing her. My father was a cousin of Archie and spoke of him often. I have been keeping in touch with cousin Flossy in Maine. I live in Utah now, but was raised in R. I.
My condolences to to family. Marge Hopkins (great grand daughter of Margaret Cochrane Brown of Bridgewater Ma)
I am so sorry for your loss. She was a special woman. I have such fond memories of watching her play piano with my Grandma Charlotte. My condolences to the family. Kari Siena Benjamin (Ann Gates Siena’s Daughter)