GRANBY, CT – Reverend Bart Cochran, age 58, of Granby, Connecticut, died suddenly on September 15th, 2023 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and served churches in Southwick and West Springfield, Massachusetts.
Bart was born in 1965 in Amarillo, Texas, the son of Gay (Smith) and Robert Cochran. He attended Palo Duro High School in that city and McLennan College in Waco, Texas where he earned an AA degree in Paralegal Studies. In 2005 he answered God’s persistent Call and began his studies in preparation for pastoral ministry. He attended Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia where he earned a BA in Theology and Religious Studies in 2007, and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, receiving his Masters of Divinity in 2010. In addition to numerous academic awards, Bart was proud to be the 2009 recipient of the Hubert S. Beckwith Scholarship, awarded yearly to a seminarian for academic excellence and sustained commitment to community service by Little River United Church of Christ (UCC) in Annandale, Virginia.
Upon graduation, Bart worked as a chaplain at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC and continued his studies in Clinical Pastoral Education at Goodwin House in Alexandria, Virginia. He was ordained at Little River UCC on February 27th, 2012 and was settled pastor at Southwick Congregational Church UCC from 2012 through 2018, and at Mittineague Congregational Church UCC from 2018 to February 2023.
Bart was a caring and compassionate pastor who appreciated the challenges and rewards of modern church life. He was particularly fond of working with children and youth in the church. In the wider community, he advocated for services for the poor and disabled and for access to healthcare for all. He participated in local CROP Hunger Walks and was passionate about organ donation, volunteering for local Donate Life events. His sudden passing has enabled his tissue and organ donation through New England Donor Services, which would have pleased him greatly.
In addition to his parents, of Amarillo, Texas, Bart is survived by his wife of 22 years, Valerie Eastwood, of Granby; two stepsons, Joseph and Shaun Holloway, of the Washington, DC area; two brothers, Rod Cochran of Amarillo and Reed Cochran of Waco; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by many loving friends and his beloved dog, Murphy.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 1st, 2023 at 3 p.m. at Granby Congregational Church, UCC, South Campus, 242 Salmon Brook Street, Granby, CT. A reception celebrating Bart’s life and work will immediately follow in the church fellowship hall. Burial at sea will be at a later date. Hayes-Huling & Carmon Funeral Home in Granby, CT has care of the arrangements. For online condolences please visit, www.carmonfuneralhome.com.