About Us | Cochran Family of Funeral Service

Our History & Heritage

Our History

Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville

Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville was originally established in 1950, as Akins Funeral Home, owned by Pat Akins. In 1967, Raymond Nix bought in to the business, and it became known as Akins-Nix Funeral Home. The original funeral home was located on Highway 129 south and re-located to Kimsey Street in Blairsville. Due to the retiring of Mr. Akins and the failing health of Mr. Nix, they sold the funeral home and Union Memory Gardens Cemetery to Steve and Max Cochran in 1981. After purchasing the funeral home, a larger office was added, along with another layout room, a selection room, and other minor remodeling was done.

In 1993, a new building was built, the current funeral home, located on Highway 129 and corner of Hunt-Martin Street. Steve and Max felt this building could better accommodate the growing community, and they could serve family's needs better in the new location.

Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge

The Henry Funeral Home was established in 1968 by Oscar Henry. After having worked with Mr. Henry, Steve and Max purchased the funeral home in 1989, renaming it Henry-Cochran Funeral Home. Later in 1997, it was moved from East Main Street to the current location. The funeral home is in an easily assessable location on Appalachian Highway (Highway 515).

Cochran Funeral Home of Hiawassee
Surrounded by the beautiful blue mountains of Towns County, Georgia, Cochran Funeral Home in Hiawassee has been serving families there since being built in 1990, on the corner of Highway 76 and Rice Street. The spacious two story Southern Colonial style building is welcoming and warm,the rocking chairs on the front porch inviting you to sit and rest.

Finch-Cochran Funeral Home of McCaysville
The Finch Funeral Home in McCaysville, Georgia, was established in 1956 by Millard Finch and his son, Buddy. In 1991, the Finch family sold the funeral home to Steve and Max Cochran, at which time it became known as “Finch-Cochran Funeral Home.”

In recent years, the building has been completely remodeled and updated, in an effort to better serve the community. An elegant chapel, large state rooms, hallways and public areas, along with a spacious kitchen and dining hall.  A modern crematory has been added to accommodate those who wish to have this type of service. The parking area is very large and accommodating, with parking for over 200 vehicles.

Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy, North Carolina

The Cochran Funeral Home in Murphy is our newest location, and opened in August of 2003. It lies in the foothills of the beautiful North Carolina mountains. It is easily accessible from Murphy, Andrews, and Hayesville, with a parking area equipped for more than two hundred vehicles and ample handicap spaces. The building is a spacious, Southern-style ranch with two large visitation rooms, a large exquisite chapel that seats approximately 250 guests, and a kitchen-lounge area for the family.

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

People Who Care

Stephen & Debra Cochran

Stephen & Debra Cochran, Owner

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Steve has been a lifelong resident of Fannin County, living in Morganton, Georgia. He graduated from East Fannin High School where his interest in funeral service began. He served his apprenticeship at the Henry Funeral Home under the direction of Oscar Henry. Steve later earned his degree at the Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a licensed funeral director for North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. He married his wife Debra in 1974, and they have three sons, Joshua, Gabriel, and David. Debra teaches 4th grade at East Fannin Elementary School. Steve is a very caring person who is devoted to the community. Steve believes strongly in the task of ensuring that Cochran Funeral Homes and their staffs continue to instill trust in their area families.

Max & Tami  Cochran

Max & Tami Cochran, Owner

Max is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Tami is Manager of Guest Services, Administration & Hospitality

Max and Tami live in Blairsville and are members of First Baptist Church of Blairsville. They met in East Fannin High School in Morganton, Georgia, where they were high school sweethearts and have been married since 1977. Their children are Anna Gladdin, Allison (married to U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon S. Burkhead) and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Daniel (married to Allison Gasser Cochran); and they have a granddaughter, Ava Grace Gladdin. Max attended Oxford College, Emory University, and Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. Max is a member and past president of the local Kiwanis Club. Max is also a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Cremation Association of North America, the International Order of the Golden Rule, a member of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association, and the Georgia Cemetery Association. Since 1981, Max has been serving the families of the community of Blairsville as funeral director and embalmer for Cochran Funeral Homes. He and Tami have worked side-by-side for 27 years at Cochran Funeral Home in Blairsville, doing what they believe is the work that God has given them to do.

Gabriel Cochran

Gabriel Cochran, Manager/ Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

A certified crematory operator, Gabe is the second son of Stephen and Debra Cochran. He literally grew up in the funeral service, helping his father and learning the family business. He earned a degree at Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science; he is licensed as a funeral director and embalmer in Georgia. Gabe enjoys serving families.

Brandon Burkhead

Brandon Burkhead, Manager/ Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

(706) 745-2156

Carl W. Stegier

Carl W. Stegier, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Married to Audrey A. Steiger. 2 sons Carl and Scott, both of Marietta, Georgia. Carl received his professional education at Miami Dade Community College, and Barry University in Miami, Florida. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. He is a resident of Blue Ridge, formerly of Marietta, Georgia, and a long time visitor and property owner in Blue Ridge. He is also a car, motorcycle, and boat hobbiest.

Karen Bond- Jezewski

Karen Bond- Jezewski, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Karen is married to Brian Jezewski formerly of Cookville, TN and has two sons, Nicholas and Logan. Born and raised in upstate New York, Karen moved to the Atlanta area in 2005. She received her education at SUNY Canton in Canton, NY, served her internship in Marietta, GA, and is a licensed funeral director in Georgia and North Carolina.

Oscar Henry

Oscar Henry, Licensed Funeral Director

Oscar grew up in Fannin County, where he established the Henry Funeral Home on January 1, 1968, serving as owner and manager for 21 years. After selling the funeral home to the Cochran's in 1988, he established yet another Henry Funeral Home in Fairmount, Georgia. He is now enjoying his retirement while still staying busy in the funeral business that he loves, working part-time on funerals and family visitations at the now Henry-Cochran Funeral Home in Blue Ridge. He and his wife, Clara, reside in Blue Ridge.

Betty Turner  Foster

Betty Turner Foster, Guest Services & Administration

Betty is a Fannin County native, graduating from East Fannin High School. Before coming to work for the Cochran's, Betty was employed by Sears Roebuck and Company Service Department in Blue Ridge for 20 years. After the closing of the service center, she returned to school and obtained her LPN license. She has been with the funeral home for the past three years, still practicing as an LPN part-time. Betty is the office manager at Henry-Cochran Funeral Home in Blue Ridge. She has a loving personality and cares deeply for the families she assists. She and her husband, Chuck, have one son, Luke, and they reside in Epworth, Georgia.

Tony Ledford

Tony Ledford, Advance Planning Advisor

Direct Phone: 706-455-3313

Tony has been with Cochran Family of Funeral Service since 2005. He is married to Angie Bradford, has two sons, Jaime & Jason, and two daughters, Krista and Kalene and five grandchildren. He is a native of the Copper Basin area. A member of the Fannin County Seventh Day Adventist Church, Tony has a passion for the families he serves.

Ben Chastain

Ben Chastain, Guest Services & Administration

Howard Kyle Jr.

Howard Kyle Jr., Funeral Assistant

Junior began working for Oscar Henry in 1977 as an EMT and also aiding in funeral services. He continued working under the Cochran's new ownership in 1989 as a funeral director associate in every aspect of the funeral home. Junior takes pride in his work, never leaving a job undone or unperfected. To honor their memory, Junior works hard on the loved one's appearance, to make them look their absolute best. Although he retired in June of 2004, he continues to assist when needed. He and his wife, Jeanette, reside in Mineral Bluff. They have one daughter, Melinda, and one granddaughter, Lakota.

Jimmy & Margaret  Ledford

Jimmy & Margaret Ledford

Margaret came to work for the Cochran's in April 2004, assisting the families during visitations. Margaret works as a beautician and substitute teacher. She and her husband, Jim, have two children, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Doug Smith

Doug Smith, Grief Counselor & Funeral Service Apprentice

Myron & Brenda Turner

Myron & Brenda Turner, Hospitality Associates

Myron and Brenda Turner came to work for Cochran Funeral Home in June of 2004, assisting with visitations. Myron also now works as a funeral assistant, where he is needed. He graduated from Georgia State University in 1967, with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. His education career with the Union County School System came to a close in 2004, when he retired as the School-to-Career Coordinator. As a retiree, he remains active in many community programs, being the long-time announcer (the Voice of the Panthers!) for the Union County Football Games and the community parades.
Brenda is a graduate from Towns County High School in Hiawassee, Georgia, and is currently employed as a Para-professional in the Union County Middle School, and has plans to retire in 2005.
Myron and Brenda previously operated the Sears Catalog Store in Blairsville, Georgia, for 23 years.
Both are active in the First United Methodist Church of Union County, and view their employment with Cochran Funeral Homes as a personal ministry for those bereaved families in their time of need. They have 3 sons: Burton, Barry and Bretney.

Kenley Redditt

Kenley Redditt, Hospitality Associate

Rev. Jack Cochran

Rev. Jack Cochran, Hospitality Associate

Rev. Billy Nicholson

Rev. Billy Nicholson, Guest Services & Administration

Bob Welch

Bob Welch, Hospitality Associate

A three-year U.S. Army veteran, Bob retired from Tri-State EMC as Superintendent of Operations after 43 years with the company. However, his service to the community is never ending. He currently serves as chairman of the deacons at First Baptist Church of McCaysville/Copperhill, where he is also the director of the Brotherhood and he serves on the board of the Fannin County Department of Family and Children's Services. Lifetime residents of Fannin County, he and his wife, Sherry, reside in McCaysville. They have two sons, Jeffery and Zachary, and two grandchildren

Albert & Martha Davenport

Albert & Martha Davenport, Hospitality Associates

Albert and Martha Davenport are both natives of Blairsville and graduates of Union County High School. Albert owned and operated Davenport's Body Shop for 35 years before turning it over to his sons. He was also a volunteer fireman and EMT. Martha has just retired from 30 years of teaching at Union County Primary School. They have six children: Brian, Sheila, Sherry, Bret, Justin, and Julie. After retiring, Albert joined the staff of Cochran Funeral Homes in 2004. Albert and Martha do long distance transfers for all five Cochran Funeral Homes. Albert also assists with funerals as needed.