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 recently retired from a long career in education from 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 staff continue to instill trust in their area families.
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 what was at that time East Fannin High School in Morganton, Georgia, where they were high school sweethearts and have been married since 1977. Their children are Anna (married to Ryan Goswick), Allison (married to Brandon Burkhead) and Daniel (married to Allison Gasser Cochran); and they are blessed with six grandchildren (Ava, Caylen, Zeke, Luke, Asher, and Lula). Max attended Oxford College, Emory University, and Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. Max is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, a member of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association, and the Georgia Cemetery Association. Since 1981, Max has been serving as funeral director and embalmer for Cochran Funeral Homes for 38 years. He and Tami have been blessed to be able to work side-by-side at Cochran Funeral Home - doing what they believe is the work that God has given them to do.
Gabriel Cochran, Manager/ Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Gabe is the second son of Stephen and Debra Cochran. Having grown up in the funeral service industry, Gabe enjoys providing the best possible experience for the families we serve. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in both Georgia and North Carolina. Gabe is married to Amanda, and together they have one daughter, Olivia Cochran. Gabe is a graduate of Fannin County High School and earned his degree in funeral service at Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service.
Brandon Burkhead, Manager/ Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Brandon enlisted in the Army following the events of September 11, 2001. His nearly eight year military career led to overseas assignments in Korea (1 yr.) and Iraq (14 mo.) and stateside assignments where he served in a variety of positions such as an Infantry Squad Leader, Ranger Training Cadre, and Recruiter.
Brandon has been with Cochran Funeral Homes & Crematories since 2009 and is married to Allison Cochran Burkhead. They are blessed to have four children: Caylen, Ezekiel, Asher, and Lula. He believes that "the business of business is people" and has a vision of changing the way people think about the funeral industry, one family at a time. Brandon attended Liberty University (Business Administration), Ogeechee Technical College (Mortuary Science), and North Georgia Technical College (Advanced EMT & Firefighter I).
To provide other avenues of service to the community that he lives and works in, Brandon was an Advanced Level EMT/ Firefighter with Union County Fire Department (Volunteer) and Union General Hospital EMS. In addition, Brandon is an Ordained Deacon having served in numerous Ministries at First Baptist Church of Blairsville; a member of Allegheny Masonic Lodge #114 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7394.
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.
Austin O'Neal, Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer
Austin O'Neal was born in Clyde, North Carooina and raised in the Copper Basin. He is a 2010 graduate of Gateway Christian Schools and is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service receiving his Funeral Service degree in 2016. He serves families at Cochran Funeral Homes as a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in both Georgia and North Carolina. Austin is honored to be serving families and sharing his expertise in all matters of funeral service.
William Scott Steiger, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
William Scott Steiger is a second-generation funeral service professional. Scott serves at Henry-Cochran Funeral Home, our Blue Ridge office of Cochran Family of Funeral Service. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Georgia. A graduate of Joseph Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA, Scott went on to earn his degree in funeral service from Ogeechee Technical College. Scott is honored to be serving families in the Blue Ridge community.
Dr. Tom Jordan, Funeral Service Apprentice
Tom has served in the ministry as a pastor for the past 45 years in churches in Georgia and North Carolina. He served as Senior Pastor of the Red Mountain Baptist Church in Durham, NC for 12 years and the First Baptist Church of Epworth, Georgia for 30 years. Since retirement in 2017 he has served in various churches in the local area as supply and interim. Tom has worked in funeral homes since the age of 15
in Georgia and North Carolina.
He is currently completing his funeral service degree at Jefferson State College, as well as, requirements by the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service to be a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He is honored to be serving and ministering to families with Cochran Funeral Services since November of 2017. He also serves as a celebrant in our Blue Ridge and McCaysville locations for families.
Eric Smith, Funeral Service Apprentice
Eric (CCO & CCA) graduated from Dalton State College with a History Degree in 2015 and graduated from Ogeechee Tech with a Funeral Service Degree in 2019.
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.
Rev. Billy Nicholson, Guest Services & Administration
Ben Chastain, Guest Services & Administration
Ben is a life long member of the Murphy, NC community, as well as, a member of the American Legion. He served in the United States Army from 1964 to 1966 during the Vietnam War and was granted an honorable discharge as a Specialist E5. He is honored to continue his career of service to our families in the Cherokee and Clay County area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vicki Forrester, Aftercare Coordinator
Abby Smith, Administrative Assistant