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Josephine Adaline (Sherwood) Cockrell

June 10, 1916 ~ October 5, 2017 (age 101)

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Josephine Adaline (Sherwood) Cockrell, 101, a resident of Sewickley for 55 years, died October 5, 2017 at Villa St. Joseph, Baden, PA.  She was predeceased by her husband, Loren L. Cockrell, who died in 1998.  She was born June 10, 1916, in Blairstown, IA to George Giffin Sherwood and Mary Brewster (Allen) Sherwood.  Her parents died in Grand Forks, ND in the influenza epidemic of 1918 shortly before her second birthday.  She was raised in Mt. Vernon, IA by her paternal grandmother, Adaline G. Sherwood, who passed on to Josephine a deep interest in her family’s history.  Her grandmother was a cousin of President Herbert Hoover and took Josephine to Hoover’s birthplace, West Branch, IA, to see Hoover when he visited there during the 1928 presidential campaign.  Josephine was regaled with stories of her grandmother’s ancestors, including Rene St. Julien, a French Huguenot who fought at the Battle of the Boyne under King William III in 1690; George Holman, a pioneer settler on the Kentucky frontier who was captured by Simon Girty and a group of Shawnee Indians near Louisville in 1781 and lived in captivity with the Indians in Ohio for three years; and her grandmother’s uncle, Indiana Congressman George W. Julian, a noted Abolitionist who ran for the vice presidency in 1852 on the Free Soil Party and later was a founder of the Republican Party at the organizing convention in Pittsburgh in 1856.  A friend of Lincoln, he served in Congress from 1849-1851 and 1861-1871.  Following the death of her grandmother in 1933,  Josephine moved to Chicago to live with her married sister.  After graduation from high school, she attended Iowa State University, Ames, IA, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.  In 1939, Josephine traveled to Bermuda and on board ship met Loren Lindsay Cockrell of Reedville, VA whom she married in Chicago on July 2, 1940.  The Cockrells lived in Ft. Thomas, KY during WW II and afterwards in Charlottesville, VA.  In 1955, they moved with their three children to Sewickley, PA.  In addition to raising her family, for over fifty years Josephine was actively involved in Charlottesville and Sewickley in the Episcopal Church and numerous community organizations.  A major undertaking was being a part of the preservation committee to prevent the destruction of the Christy House, owned by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and obtaining historic landmark designation for that building.  She served as chairman (Pittsburgh) of the Church Periodical Club of the Episcopal Church, an organization which distributes educational literature to churches throughout the world, and she was a member of the board of the Woman of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.  She was an inspector on the Sewickley Election Board for many years;  Meals on Wheels volunteer;  member of the Seedlings and Edgeworth Garden Clubs, the Query Club, the Chancel Society of St. Stephen’s Church, and the Edgeworth Club.  She was also a member of the Jacob Ferree Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; the Huguenot Society of America; and the Society of Mayflower Descendants.  Her family will remember her for providing a loving home environment, her service to church and community, her sense of humor, her love of writing letters, for instilling a strong work ethic in her children and grandchildren, and for being a good friend to many.

In addition to her husband, Josephine was predeceased by her brother, George G. Sherwood, Jr., and her sister, Virginia S. Murdock.  She is survived by her three children, Mary Lindsay Cockrell, Columbus, OH; W. Brewster Cockrell, Edgeworth, PA;  and  Jennifer C. Hay (Thomas S.), Edgeworth, PA.  Also surviving are Susan Nevin Cockrell, Sewickley, PA and five grandchildren,  Jonathan H. Koznesoff (Lori), Reynoldsburg, OH; Peter L. Cockrell (Natalie Grasso, Fiancee), Arlington, VA; Thomas S. Hay, Jr. (Janice), Atlanta, GA; Elizabeth H. Ryan (James), Liverpool, NY; and Sarah H. Rawls (Thompson), Atlanta, GA.  She is also survived by four great grandchildren, Harper and Henry Hay and James and Payton Ryan. 

Burial was privately held at Roseland Cemetery, Reedville, VA.  A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Church, Sewickley, PA.  The family wishes to extend its heartfelt gratitude to all the staff at Villa St. Joseph for the kindness and compassionate care provided to Josephine during the years that she resided there.  Donations in her memory may be made to Villa St. Joseph, 1030 W. State St., Baden, PA  15005; Friendship Preschool, Sewickley Presbyterian Church, 414 Grant Street, Sewickley, PA  15143; and the Huguenot Society of America Scholarship Fund, 20 W. 44th St., #510, New York, NY  10036.    Announcement by Copeland’s of Sewickley

 Service Information

Memorial Service
December 2, 2017

10:00 AM
St. Stephen's Church
Walnut Street
Sewickley, PA 15143

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