Lillian Theresa Cochran, age 85, passed away peacefully on February 15, 2023, after a long illness. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 6, 1937, to Richard “Dick” Cochran and Lillian Cochran, née Hardcastle. Lillian is pre-deceased by her older brother Richard Cochran. She is survived by her cousins and her goddaughter, Virginia.
Lillian graduated from Girls’ Latin School in 1955. She then worked as a phlebotomist, first at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain and then at Carney Hospital in Dorchester. She enrolled in the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received her BA in 1965 and went on to receive her MA there in 1968. By then she had enrolled in a doctoral program in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Brown University. Lillian obtained her PhD from Brown University in 1970 after writing a dissertation entitled “Determinants of Individual Mobility in Different Social Classes”. Her research conclusion was that education is the most important factor in social upward mobility.
She was invited to teach sociology at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain for a couple of years after which she held a position as an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University. In addition to her teaching duties, she also dedicated time to academic research. She was a founding member of Social Science Research Associates, Inc., a research consulting firm. Years later, she moved to Westborough to care for her parents and later her brother, while working as a technical writer for Data General Corporation, later known as Dell.
Lillian enjoyed art, music, and animals, especially cats. She flourished in the hustle and bustle of living in New York City, visiting museums and small shops. Her witty and often ironic sense of humor was a family favorite especially when in repartee with her father and brother. Lillian had the ability to find humor in ordinary situations and to lighten the mood for everyone with her skits and jokes. Her humor never left her.
As a member of the Work of God, Lillian sought to live her Catholic faith in all aspects of ordinary life. While pursuing her academic and professional goals she never lost sight of the needs of those around her, beginning with her family and friends. She saw her professional work as helping society and helping women. She collaborated with various non-profits including Bayridge Residence in Boston and Arnold Hall Conference Center in Pembroke, MA.
Visitation will be on Monday, February 20 at 9:30 A.M. at the Pickering & Son Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main Street, Westborough, MA with a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main Street, Westborough at 10:30 am. Burial will be in St. Luke’s Cemetery, 26 Hopkinton Road, Westborough. Friends and family are invited to attend.