Cathy Joan Sanford Cochran

Cathy Joan Sanford Cochran, 68, of Canton, died Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, at Cherokee Northside Hospital after a long illness.

She was born Dec. 12, 1949, in Ellijay, to Avery Sanford and Oleeta James Sanford, the first of their three daughters.

In 1962, she was saved and baptized, becoming a member of Liberty Baptist Church which has served as her maternal family’s church for generations.  As a youth leader, she taught both Sunday school and vacation Bible school classes at Liberty.  

At the time of her passing, she was a member of Heritage Fellowship Baptist Church in Cherokee County.

An avid reader, she acquired her love of books at an early age, and she and her sisters would eagerly await the arrival of the bookmobile during summer vacations.  This early love of learning would lay the foundation for her career in teaching. Encouraged by her parents, she realized the importance of education and worked hard to be a good student.

She graduated from Gilmer High School, class of 1968, earned an associate’s degree from Truett-McConnell College in 1970, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Tift College in 1972.  After teaching a few years, she would earn a master’s degree in education from West Georgia College in 1978.

She taught one year with the Gilmer County School System and then moved to Canton where she would teach in Cherokee County schools until her retirement.  She was a creative and caring teacher chosen as “Teacher of the Year” for E.T. Middle School twice and also received the Georgia High Tech Outstanding Achievement Award for outstanding teachers in the field of math and science.  Many times she said the highest teaching award was when students told her, sometimes years after they had been in her classroom, how much they had learned in her classes.

She was a people person, and she enjoyed a variety of activities with friends and colleagues including knitting classes, book club, quilting club and Christian fellowship in church.  

In the last several years, severe health problems would eventually put a stop to her attending these activities in person, but her dear friends were faithful with visits, phone calls, cards and prayers.

She is preceded in death by husband, Rick Cochran; father, Avery Sanford; and sister, Peggy S. Arbucci.

She is survived by son, Caleb Cochran; mother, Oleeta James Sanford, of Ellijay; sister, Pam Sanford, of Ellijay; brother-in-law, Tony Arbucci, of Ellijay; granddaughters, Elizabeth Cochran and Shiloh Cochran; three nieces; two great-nieces; one great-nephew; two uncles; one aunt; and numerous cousins.  

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, from Heritage Fellowship Baptist Church with the Rev. Nathan Brandon and the Rev. Justin Bishop officiating. 

Interment followed in Oakdale Baptist Church Cemetery in Canton.

Music was by Bill McVey.

Pianist was Jane Smith.

Pallbearers were Tony Arbucci, Caleb Cochran, Bill McVey, Jim Findley, Noel Powell, Josh Glandon and Brody Smithwick.

Condolences can be made at

Sosebee Funeral Home, Canton, was in charge of arrangements.

Times Courier

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1076
Ellijay, GA. 30540

Phone: 706-635-4313
Fax: 706-635-7006