Tags: | US | Obit | Rose Cochran

Wife of GOP Sen. Cochran of Mississippi Dies

Friday, 12 Dec 2014 01:20 PM

Rose Clayton Cochran — who became a focal point in the re-election campaign of her husband, Sen. Thad Cochran, when a man was accused of taking bedridden photos of her to use against the Republican — has died. She was 73.

She died Friday at a hospice facility after a long battle with dementia, the senator's spokesman, Chris Gallegos, said.

Daughter Kate Cochran, an associate professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, posted on Facebook a photo of her holding her mother's hand.

"My beloved mother died this morning, after two weeks in hospice care. I took this picture a few days ago because a friend of mine remembered how beautiful her hands were," she wrote.

From Washington, where he was voting Thursday on a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, Cochran issued a brief statement saying that he and his family say extend their gratitude to those who cared for his wife during her extended illness. She has lived in a nursing home for 13 years.

During the senator's campaign this year, a man was arrested and accused of sneaking in to the nursing home, taking pictures of her bedridden without permission, and posting her image on the Internet for a brief time as part of a political video criticizing the six-term senator.

Investigators have said conspirators intended to use images to advance allegations that her husband was having an inappropriate relationship. Thad Cochran has denied any inappropriate acts.

Clayton Kelly, a supporter of Cochran's GOP primary opponent Chris McDaniel, was indicted in October on charges of burglary, attempted burglary and conspiracy. If convicted on all three counts, he faces a maximum 55 years in prison. A trial is scheduled for March.

The conspiracy count accuses Kelly of working with John Bertram Mary, a talk radio host, who has since pleaded guilty in exchange for five years' probation and no jail time.

Ridgeland attorney Mark Mayfield also was charged with conspiracy but later committed suicide.

Cochran defeated McDaniel in the June 24 Republican primary runoff.

The Cochrans had been married since 1964. They have two children and three grandchildren. Rose Cochran was a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1963. The couple had met at Ole Miss, where Sen. Cochran attended law school.

Funeral services are 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Jackson. Burial will be in New Albany.

Rose Cochran grew up in New Albany. She taught school in Oxford before the couple moved to Jackson where Thad Cochran had joined a law firm. She was working at the Mississippi Department of Welfare when the family moved to Washington D.C. after Cochran was elected to Congress in 1972.

Cochran, 77, has been in the Senate since 1978. He was re-elected in November. He earlier served six years in the U.S. House.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement that he and his wife, Deborah, were saddened to hear of Rose Cochran's death.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Thad and his family. Rose was a gracious and humble lady who should be long remembered for her caring and gentle spirit," Bryant said.


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Rose Clayton Cochran - who became a focal point in the re-election campaign of her husband, Sen. Thad Cochran, when a man was accused of taking bedridden photos of her to use against the Republican - has died. She was 73.
US, Obit, Rose Cochran
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2014-20-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 01:20 PM
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