Lillian Hall Cochran died peacefully in her sleep on February 10, 2021, at Lantern Hill Assisted Living in New Providence, New Jersey at age 94. Lillian was predeceased by her husband Robert Thomas Cochran and is survived by her children, Betsy Mead (Nelson), Chip Cochran (Christine) Jane Templeton (John), Fletcher Cochran (Peg), and Richard Cochran (Seija), and grandchildren, Lilly and Marianna Mead, Lexi, Chipper and Matthew Cochran, Dan and Tom Richards, David and Roger Templeton, Robert and Gillian Cochran, and Niina and Michael Cochran.
Born in Monroe, Louisiana, Lillian moved to Washington, D.C. immediately after graduating from high school. She got a job with the United States Department of State, which took her to multiple continents, and many, many countries. Lillian eventually settled briefly in Tokyo, Japan where she lived until the late 1950s when she moved to New York City and, finally, to Summit, New Jersey where she would remain for the rest of her life. She co-founded a cookware and gift shop called The Teapot in 1974, and in 1994, she volunteered to co-found The Garden Shop at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum.
Lillian’s marriage to Tom Cochran was filled with world travel, volunteerism, and entertaining at the family home on Kent Place Boulevard in Summit. Together, Lillian and Tom traveled to over 70 countries and Lillian continued to travel with family and friends after Tom’s death in 2009. Lillian was dedicated to service in her community. In 1990, she helped establish SHIP (Summit Helping Its People) with the Summit Interfaith Clergy Fellowship. She was proud of her work with the Community of St. John Baptist in Mendham, helping to build Good Shepherd Home for Children in the North West Province of Cameroon. Lillian also began the sponsorship program for the Home’s children, which still exists and has changed the children’s lives forever. Lillian’s last journey to Good Shepherd Home, in which she served a critical mentoring role, is chronicled in the book I Am That Child by Elizabeth Geitz.
Lillian was a life-long learner, a great patron of the arts, and a fearless adventurer, yet she may best be remembered for her more than 50 years of tireless devotion to Calvary Episcopal Church. Lillian served on numerous committees including Vestry, Junior Warden, Women of Calvary, Calvary House Tour, Outreach, Annual Rummage Sale, Buildings and Grounds, Reception, Wedding Coordinator, and St. Clare’s Guild Kneeler Project. As founder of the Kneeler Project, she spent hundreds of hours stitching more than seventeen kneelers. Lillian loved the grounds of Calvary Church and treasured time spent working in its beautiful gardens.