John B. Cochran ’47

John B.W. Cochran, 90, died peacefully at his home, Fairfax Cottage, in Hulls Cove, August 9, 2017. He was born February 1, 1927 in Washington, DC the son of John Baldwin Cochran and Alice Whiting Cochran.

He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1947 and from the University of Virginia in 1954. Although John grew up in Washington, DC, he knew from an early age that he would make his life on Mount Desert Island. In 1956 he founded the Bar Harbor Boating Company, with first Oliver Spear and then Joe Strout as his right hand, which he operated until his death. John’s yard specialized in building wooden power boats in the style of Down East lobster boats.

John was known for his dry wit and story-telling. In the early 1950’s, his stories were instrumental in the creation of the iconic “Bert and I” stories depicting Maine fisherman and woodsmen with classic Maine humor. He was also an avid bird hunter who, with his beloved English Setters always at his side, enjoyed a lifetime of hunting.

John’s wife Nina Cooke Cochran predeceased him in 2004. They lived in Hulls Cove where they enjoyed their beautiful garden at Fairfax Cottage and picnics at their camp on Skilling’s River. They shared a life together traveling the world, fly fishing, grouse shooting, and sailing with their friends and family. John was devoted to his late older brother, Carlyle and nephew and niece, John Carlyle Cochran and Sheila “Cary” Van Doren Cochran and their children, Riley Fairfax Cochran, Sarah Grace Cochran, Samuel Carlyle Cochran, Nathaniel Morton Davis and Julia Whitman Davis. He is also survived by his extended family, Sheila Smith Cochran, Elisabeth Cochran, Bruce Rathbun, Nina and William Horner, Eleanor and William Browder, Jay and Candyce Emlen, Thomas and Sara Emlen and their children and grandchildren.

No formal memorial service is planned. Those who desire may make contributions in John’s memory to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center, 33 Whiting Hill Rd., Brewer, ME 04412 or Mount Desert Island Hospital, 10 Wayman Lane, Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main Street, Mt. Desert, ME.