Allen Wesley "A.W." Cockrell Jr.
January 11, 1924 – May 31, 2018
Services for Allen Wesley “A.W.” Cockrell, Jr., 94, of Lufkin, will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 9, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Corrigan, with Pastor Scott Reed of Calvary Baptist Church of Lufkin officiating. Interment will follow at Union Springs Cemetery in Corrigan. A.W. passed from this life in Frisco, Texas, on Thursday, May 31, 2018. He is preceded in death by his devoted wife of 67 years, Barbara Miles Lazalier Cockrell; parents, Allen Wesley Cockrell, Sr. and Clara Mae Safford Cockrell; sister Dr. Sarah Jo White, and brother Jasper Reagan Cockrell. A.W. is survived by a sister, Rita Mae Drabek of Sugar Land, and brother Robert Cockrell of Natchitoches, Louisiana; children, Beth Cordell of Rocklin, California, Cathy Cockrell and husband David Hanover of Tyler, Jody Cockrell and husband Kirt Rasmussen of Houston, Janie Brittain and husband Kim of Garland; grandchildren, Claire Cordell of Rocklin, California, Kevin Cordell of Hermiston, Oregon, Wesley Hanover and wife Kristin of Double Oak, Samuel Hanover of Indianapolis, Indiana, Allen Brittain and wife Lindsay of Flower Mound, Joe Brittain and wife Shelbii of Plano; six great-grandchildren, Jackson and Scarlett Henkhaus, Riley Cordell, Bennett and Hudson Hanover, and Laney Brittain; and a number of close relatives and friends. A.W. was born in Corrigan, Texas, on January 11, 1924. He came from a long line of loggers and woodsmen of the East Texas Piney Woods. His father was a logging contractor, and as a boy, A.W. worked in the logging business alongside his father, brother, cousins, and uncles. He often spoke of his boyhood days of fishing and hunting for squirrel, rabbit, dove, and deer. Times were hard, and most of the hunting was done for family meals. He attended Corrigan High School where he was very involved in sports, excelling in basketball. He was drafted by the United States Army in early 1943, and was moved to Miami, Florida, for U.S. Air Corps Basic Training. Later in 1943, he began flight training at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1944, he became part of the 8th Armored Division, 49th Armored Infantry Battalion, Company C, and began armored training at Camp Polk in Louisiana. His unit was moved to Camp Kilmer in New Jersey, and then was transferred to Europe, serving at Camp Tidworth in England. His unit participated in driving the Nazis out of Holland, Belgium, and through Germany to the Elbe River where the Russians had advanced. A.W. was discharged from service on November 19, 1945, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, after World War II ended. A.W. was a proud member of the “Greatest Generation,” both in service to his country and in his work for the State of Texas. After his military discharge, A.W. enrolled at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and graduated in May 1949, with a degree in Civil Engineering. He began his career with the Texas Highway Department, stationed in San Augustine and serving as a supervisor of construction in various locations in Angelina, Nacogdoches, and San Augustine counties. While stationed in San Augustine, A.W. married his wife, Barbara, and became the proud father of four daughters. He was licensed as a Professional Engineer by the State of Texas in 1953 and progressed to the rank of Resident Engineer in Houston, Trinity, and Angelina counties. His major projects include the supervision of design and construction of many major highways in Angelina County. In 1959, he completed construction of his largest project, a 1.6 mile bridge crossing Sam Rayburn Reservoir on State Hwy. 147; motorists continue to use the bridge, enjoying the beauty of A.W.’s beloved East Texas. He retired from the Highway Department in 1983, traveling frequently from his residence in Lufkin to the old Cockrell homeplace in Corrigan, where he gardened, grew and sold Christmas trees, and harvested pulpwood and pine timber. A.W. was strong in his beliefs, generous to many charitable organizations and causes, and dedicated as a living example of honor and duty. Above all, he was steadfast in his love and commitment to his family. Pallbearers will be David Hanover, Kirt Rasmussen, Kim Brittain, Wesley Hanover, Allen Brittain, and Joe Brittain. Honorary pallbearers will be Rita Mae Drabek, Robert Cockrell, Claire Cordell, Kevin Cordell, and Samuel Hanover. The family would like to thank the at-home caregivers from Pinecrest in Lufkin and the caregivers and nurses who cared for A.W. in Plano and Frisco. Condolences to the family may be offered online at www.gipsonfuneralhome.com. Services have been placed in the trust of Gipson Funeral Home.
- Rita Mae Drabek, Sister
- Robert Cockrell, Brother
- Beth Cordell, Daughter
- Cathy Cockrell and David Hanover, Daughter and Son-in-Law
- Jody Cockrell and Kirt Rasmussen, Daughter and Son-in-Law
- Janie and Kim Brittain, Daughter and Son-in-Law
- Claire Cordell, Granddaughter
- Kevin Cordell, Grandson
- Wesley Hanover and wife Kristin, Grandson
- Samuel Hanover, Grandson
- Allen Brittain and wife Lindsay, Grandson
- Joe Brittain and wife Shelbii, Grandson
- Jackson and Scarlett Henkhaus, Great-Grandchildren
- Riley Riley Cordell, Great-Grandchild
- Bennett and Hudson Hanover, Great-Grandchildren
- Laney Brittain, Great-Grandchild
A. W. was also survived by a number of close relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 67 years, Barbara Miles Lazalier Cockrell; parents, Allen Wesley Cockrell, Sr. and Clara Ma Safford Cockrell; sister, Dr. Sarah Jo White; and brother, Jasper Reagan Cockrell.
- David Hanover, Active
- Kirt Rasmussen, Active
- Kim Brittain, Active
- Wesley Hanover, Active
- Allen Brittain, Active
- Joe Brittain, Active
- Rita Mae Drabek, Honorary
- Robert Cockrell, Honorary
- Claire Cordell, Honorary
- Kevin Cordell , Honorary
- Samuel Hanover, Honorary
- Funeral Service Saturday, June 9, 2018
Allen Wesley "A.W." Cockrell Jr.
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January 11, 2019
Dear Family & Friends of Allen Cockrell, Jr,
Representing the 8th Armored Division Association family, fellow veterans and friends, we belatedly and with apologies send our sincere condolences at the passing of your loved one and our 'brother-in-arms' from WWII.
His honorable service with Co. C, 49th Armored Infantry Battalion in the 8th Armored Division in three bloody battles toward the end of the war in Europe should be commemorated, and his record of valor never be extinguished.
We are certain that Allen has gone to his heavenly reward and was embraced by his old comrades, family and friends.
May he enjoy that heavenly rest promised.
Andy Waskie, president
8th Armored Division Association