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Bell Museum Remembers Board Member Linda Cochran

Linda Cochran (center) pictured with family at Museum's Rotors Over
Mentone in 2015 (left) and with President Tim Croy in 2020 (right)

The Bell Aircraft Museum, its volunteers and supporters are very saddened to hear the passing of Linda Cochran on August 11, 2021. Linda served as a Board Member and a former secretary for the Museum, and helped in organizing local events such as Rotors Over Mentone. She was a key member of curating and supporting the local Mentone Historical Museum.

Linda L. (Besson) Cochran was born on April 12, 1938 in Warsaw, Indiana to William Earl and Leona (Leininger) Besson. She graduated from Mentone High School in 1956. She married William "Bill" M. Cochran on May 20, 1961 in Mentone, who preceded her in death on March 15, 2018.

Linda was active and well known in the community. She was the Assistant Librarian ‘and a Teacher’s Aide at the Mentone Elementary School, before retiring in 1993. She had been a lifetime and dedicated member of the Mentone Church of Christ. Linda was a member of the Mentone M&M Extension Club and the Bell Memorial Public Library where she served with the Friends of the Library.

Linda was personable and outgoing, and enjoyed working with other Museum Board Members and volunteers in putting together events. She enjoyed genealogy and took great interest in history, including getting to know the life of early Mentone resident Lawrence D. Bell. She became involved in the Bell Museum in its beginnings and volunteered giving tours and talking about the life of Larry Bell to the many visitors who visited the museum over the years. She served as guest speaker for the Rotors Over Mentone Event in 2020, where she talked about the rich history of the city of Mentone and the Mentone Historical Museum.

Linda is survived by her daughters: Leisa Norman of Mentone, and Laura and husband Jeff Felzien of South Vienna, Ohio; her grandchildren: Jennifer and husband T.J. Keathley and Krista and husband Nate Peterson both of Fairborn, Ohio; and several in-laws, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bill, infant son Gary Dean Cochran, brother Keith Besson, and step-mother Lela Besson who helped raise Linda after her mother died.

It was only after a recent routine surgery that Linda began to encounter complications that took a toll on her body and could not pull through. Linda is greatly missed.