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Ethel Ray Fights Cochran, 92, Casey County, KY native

It is with great sadness that the family must announce that our mother, Ethel Ray Fights Cochran, passed away Sunday, September 12, 2021. She was born July 10,1929 to Roy Carlton and Nettie Florence Cochran Fights.

She was born during the great depression. She, like many in her generation, was afflicted with Polio at 3 months of age. At age 5, she was sent to a facility to spend time in an iron lung, an experience that would stay with her for the rest of her life. She was beyond thrilled when a Polio vaccine was developed. Her children would be the first in line when the vaccine was available.

Ethel grew up on a tobacco farm on Snake Ridge outside of Liberty, Kentucky. She graduated from Liberty High School alongside her sweetheart and soon to be husband, Huston Cochran. She attended Lindsey Wilson Teachers College and Eastern Kentucky University along with Huston, teaching school together in a one-room schoolhouses, raising her children while taking 10 years to graduate college.

Her family moved to Ohio to teach in the Beavercreek, Ohio where she and Huston spent their days raising their children Sharon, Karyn and Steve and teaching thousands of school children. She loved to visit, play cards, scrabble, bowling, and boating. Ethel and Huston retired to their cabin on Lake Cumberland in Somerset KY then moved close Florida to be closer Steve and their grandchildren.

She was struck with post-polio syndrome in her late 60's and became wheelchair bound for the remainder of her life. She kept her spirits high and continued to make friends and stay close to her family. When Huston passed away in 2002, Ethel moved to Knoxville to be close to her daughter Karyn. She stayed there for the remainder of her life close to her great-grandson Keaton.

Ethel was predeceased by her husband Elbridge Huston Cochran and daughter Sharon Renee Cochran. She was also predeceased by her parents, sisters Lillian Carr, Edith Ida Cochran, Helen Allison, Pauline Keith, and twin brother Estil Fights.

Ethel is survived by a daughter Karyn Holbrook and Diana Harrell of Knoxville, Tennessee and son Steve Cochran of Louisville, Colorado, sister Peggy Simpson of Cincinnati, Ohio, brother Roy Curtis and wife Phyllis Fights of Huntsville, Alabama; Grandchildren Heather Holbrook of Knoxville, Tennessee, Jennifer Compton and Brett Compton of Somerset, Kentucky, and Andrew Brown of Somerset, Kentucky; Great-Grandchildren Mason Brown of Somerset, Kentucky, Keaton Holbrook of Knoxville, Tennessee and Bridget Compton of Somerset, Kentucky.

The funeral will be held Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 12noonET at Bartle Funeral Home in Liberty, KY, with visitation at 11. Bro. Dwight Coffman officiating. Interment immediately following at Brush Creek Cemetery.

This story was posted on 2021-09-14 19:41:12
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email


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