FORT BELKNAP AGENCY - Thomas "Tom" L. Cochran, Wus Nee A Ni (Running Bear), Sr., 66, died Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2003, at a Havre hospital.
A wake service began Saturday evening at the Thomas Cochran residence and a rosary was held Sunday evening. A funeral Mass was scheduled for 11 a.m. today at the
residence. Burial was to follow in the Cochran Family Cemetery.
Tom was born at Fort Belknap Hospital on April 27, 1937, to William "Willie" and Henrietta (Main) Cochran. Tom was raised in Hays and for a short time in Seattle, Wash., Butte and Oswego by his uncle Raymond "Rum" and aunt Rose Connor. He attended school at St. Paul's Mission and in later years received his G.E.D.
In November of 1973 he met Carol Ann Cliff and they were married on Oct. 6, 1979. They had three children. Tom had nine children from a previous marriage.
Tom was a very loving and devoted father; he loved his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews very much. Tom was a carefree man, who had a love for everyone and everything he came in contact with. He dearly loved his home and family.
In 1954 he joined the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1957. With the exception of a short time living and working in construction in San Bernadino, Calif., he was still a Montana man at heart. He worked construction at the Glasgow Air Force Base, as a police officer for Fort Belknap Law and Order, and as an ambulance driver for the Fort Belknap IHS until he retired due to an injury.
Tom loved to tell stories to everyone. In 1998 his health started to deteriorate drastically. Tom believed in the traditional ways. Although his health wasn't very good he completed his four years in the "Big Lodge" and attended sweats and singing until his health would no longer let him. Traditional dancing was one of Tom's loves of life. He had a "special friend" Jude King, who helped him pave his way to the "red road of life."
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Carol Ann Cochran of Fort Belknap; daughters, Wynema Rae (Mario) Small of Bismark, N.D., Leslie Ann (Delvin) Ereaux, Charlene Jackson, Roseann (Clayton) Hawley and Jeannie Timms, all of Ft. Belknap; sons, Louis (Gena) Cochran of Fort Belknap, Robert (Chris) Cochran and Raymond (Claudia) Cochran of Great Falls, Michael E. Cochran, Vernon R. (Joyce) Cochran and Albert Healy; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many adopted children, aunts and uncles, all of Fort Belknap.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Willie Cochran and Henrietta Main; adopted parents, Raymond and Rosie Connor; and daughters, Agnes Mary Cochran and Henrietta Cochran Jones.