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Patricia Mary Cockram, October 7, 1919~July 7, 2016

P Cockram copyPatricia Mary Cockram, mother, educator, activist, passed away on Thursday July 7, 2016 at the age of 96.

She was born in Denver, Colorado on October 7, 1919 and was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Patricia was a talented painter in her youth and continued making art until the end of her life. In 1942 she married Kenneth Cockram, who served as a Lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps in the Pacific during WWII. After the war, the family moved to Fort Smith, where she raised six children. In the early 1960s she joined the N.A.A.C.P. and became active in the Civil Rights movement.

Patricia completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Arkansas in 1968. She received a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degreeas a Reading Specialist in 1970. While living in Fort Smith in the 1960s, she taught at Alma High School, and Darby Junior High. After moving to Fayetteville, she taught at Boy’s Town in 1971, and Fayetteville West Campus until 1987. She is survived by her children Peter Cockram and wife Jeri of Fort Smith; Tim Cockram and wife Connie of Austin Texas; Kathleen Randall (wife of Clyde Randall,deceased), Chris Kline and husband Les Kline; Claire Small and husband Paul Vella; and Michael Cockram and wife Susan Shore of Fayetteville. Her eldest daughter Patricia (Pati) Cockram passed away in 2010. She is survived by nine grandchildren: Arron Randall, Josh Randall, Meagan Cockram, Kary Donohue, Sam Cockram, Aya Cockram, Olivia Kline, Nina Vella and Guin Vella and eight great-grandchildren.

She spoke up where she saw injustice, marched for peace, cooked like a pro, read mountains of books and celebrated beauty in all its forms.

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    Cathy Williams » 17. Jul, 2016

    Occasionally an individual’s life as portrayed in an obituary is touching. So it is with Mrs. Cockram’s story. I regret that I didn’t know this lady who “spoke up for injustice, marched for peace, cooked like a pro and read mountains of books.” It was certainly a loss to me and to humankind that more of us didn’t know her and learn from her. May she rest in peace knowing she did her part to make the world better. May we all imitate her good works.