Gene Allen Cockrell, Sr., a veteran of the US Army, was born November 14, 1937 in Madison, MS and passed away peacefully on September 24, 2022 from a recent pneumonia and complications from an extended illness. Gene accepted Christ as his savior and served as Deacon at Bethesda Baptist Church. He is currently a member of First Baptist Church of Byram, MS. He loved the Lord, loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Gene was born in Weathersby, MS to John Tapley Cockrell, Sr. and Amanda Cook Cockrell as one of four children. He grew up in Mendenhall, MS and graduated in 1955 from Mendenhall High school. He then moved to Jackson, MS where he and his wife, Mae Frances “Fran” Haley, raised their family of three children and where he served in the Jackson Fire Department for 25 years. He retired as Captain at the age of 48 and moved to Terry, MS. Also, during his career in the Fire Department, he and his wife opened the Bicycle Center on North State St. in Jackson. They sold the company to retire in 1986. The whole family had many amazing years during that time. After retirement, he spent many years traveling the country with his wife, his family, and a group of retired firefighters. They traveled to almost every state in a variety of RVs and motorhomes.
After his wife passed in 2012, he moved to Madison, MS to be closer to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Along with his wife, Fran Haley, he is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters. He is survived by one brother, JT Cockrell, Jr (Mary). He is also survived by children, Christi C. Turnage (Kerry), Gene “Allen” Cockrell, Jr, and Sandra “Sandy” K . Cockrell, all of Madison. His grandchildren include Christopher Lake Turnage (Julie), Joseph Allen Turnage (Marvella), Joshua Turnage Graham (Azha), Hailey Elizabeth Aijun Turnage, John “Parker” Cockrell, and Nathanial “Nate” Allen Cockrell. Gene is also survived by two great grandchildren, Eric Alexander Thomas Abbott and Rivers Joseph James Turnage (Chris & Julie), as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Rose Garden at the Orchard & Hospice Ministries, Ridgeland, MS for their loving care in his final days. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial donations or contributions be made to the Metavivor Organization for research for stage 4, Metastatic Breast Cancer at https://www.metavivor.org.
A graveside service will be held at Bethesda Baptist Church Cemetery on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Pallbearers will be Kerry Turnage, Chris Turnage, Joseph Turnage, Joshua Turnage, Eric Abbott, and Allen Cockrell and honorary pallbearer, Nate Cockrell. Julie Turnage will sing.