Joseph Haney (Josh) Cochran III was born February 26, 1958, in Little Rock, Arkansas and died June 23, 2021 in Topanga, CA. He was 63, the first-born son of Deirdre (Jan) Gambrel Phillips of Kansas City, MO, and Joseph Haney Cochran, Jr.(deceased). Josh was a decades-long resident of Topanga, CA. He was a skilled carpenter, mechanic, and photographer; an avid reader and intelligent self-proclaimed philosopher; a creative, big-thinking man with many talents. He was a kind, sweet soul with a sharp sense of humor and undeniable charisma.
He will be sorely missed by his mother; his brother Christian Gambrel Cochran and his wife, Janna of Kansas City, MO; his sister, Deirdre Elizabeth Sheerin of Sonoma, CA; step-sister, Suzanne E. Phillips and her husband Roger Dillan of Eureka Springs, AR; nephews Quinn Cochran of Chicago, IL; Reece Cochran of Kansas City, MO; as well as many nieces and nephews, a slew of cousins and a world of friends. He is predeceased by his father, Joseph Haney Cochran, Jr.; step-father George A. Phillips; and step-brother, George C. Phillips.
A memorial was held on June 27 at Corazon Performing Arts Center to remember the man and celebrate his life.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COCHRAN FAMILY Christian and Josh, July 2019
Family Memories of Josh
JOSH HAS ALWAYS BEEN LOYAL to his family. When I visited him once in New York he showed me all around and had put in the effort to get tickets to the Late Night with David Letterman Show. That night Bob Dylan was on so we were lucky to have tickets, but it was over-booked and we were way back in the line waiting to get into the show. As the theater filled we got right up to the door and the usher stopped the line at us. “Theatre is full,” he said. Well, Josh kicked in his charm and pleaded to get in. He said, “We don’t need seats, we can sit on the stairs. My brother came all the way from Kansas City….” He let us in and we sat in back on the stairs. That was Dylan’s first live performance of the song, “Jokerman,” March, 1984. It was awesome! Josh made an adventure out of everything he did. We love you Josh. —Christian Cochran, brother
JOSH NEVER FORGOT a birthday. We could count on a call, or the arrival of a present he thought was “just the thing” especially for YOU. Our family has always known it, but I greatly appreciated hearing people talking about what a smart and creative thinker he was. Most talked about what an interesting conversationalist he was, how well read and knowledgeable about current events and history. It sounded like he was on a recent, very positive trajectory and was happily engaged in photography projects he valued. I am proud of him and think it is very honorable that he had the strength, grit, and dignity to be sober these last few months. Reports from his Topanga friends and family provide considerable peace to me, thank you. From my conversations, I learned that he was an important, valued part of the Topanga community and people were sincerely shocked and deeply impacted by his death. We will forever share this terrible loss of a vibrant soul. —Deidre Sheerin, sister
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COCHRAN FAMILY Josh with his mother and “Razzle Dazzle” (Raz), Josh’s loyal buddy and companion
NOT LONG AGO I ASKED JOSH if he was happy with his life. He responded. by saying “I love my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.” What every mother wants for her child. He will always be in my heart. —Jan Phillips, Josh’s mom
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COCHRAN FAMILY In 1986-1987 Josh was making movies in New York
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COCHRAN FAMILY Drawing by Kansas City artist, Lou Marak
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COCHRAN FAMILY Corazon overflowed with flowers
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COCHRAN FAMILY Jon Shea with guitar and Michael. Next to them are Philip and Michelle D’Arbanville who, with other musicians, joined in throughout the afternoon.
Many thanks to the community of Topanga for reaching out to us in this sad time. Everyone was so comforting with stories of Josh that filled us in on his colorful life there. The stories confirmed that he was loved like family by many and that he was on a real upward trajectory. The notes written in the little white book were fabulous. Our mother values those notes tremendously. Deirdre’s and my time in Topanga has been very rewarding and helped with closure for the loss we all are experiencing.