Utah man re­mem­bered as men­tor to mu­si­cians

Kurt Cochran and his wife were among the first hit.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Hallie Golden and Sally Ho

Kurt Cochran, who was on an an­niver­sary trip with his wife, was killed in the ter­ror­ist at­tack out­side the British Par­lia­ment.

A Utah cou­ple were en­joy­ing the fi­nal day of their Euro­pean trip to cel­e­brate their 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary when they were among the crowd of people on Lon­don’s Westminster Bridge who were struck by an SUV.

Kurt Cochran was one of two people killed and his wife, Melissa Cochran, was among dozens who were in­jured, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued Thurs­day by the fam­ily through a Mor­mon church spokesman. The cou­ple were vis­it­ing Melissa Cochran’s par­ents who were serv­ing a church mis­sion in Lon­don.

Au­thor­i­ties on Thurs­day iden­ti­fied a 52-year-old British man as the per­son who mowed down the Cochrans and other pedes­tri­ans and stabbed a po­lice­man to death out­side Par­lia­ment, say­ing he had a long crim­i­nal record and once was in­ves­ti­gated for ex­trem­ism — but was not cur­rently on a ter­ror­ism watch list.

Pictures on Kurt Cochran’s Face­book page show the cou­ple en­joy­ing their sight­see­ing trav­els through Europe prior to the tragic events. In one post, there are pictures of Ger­man ar­chi­tec­ture be­neath a cap­tion, “Trier Ger­many. An­other WOW!” In an­other, he is shown smil­ing and hold­ing a Ger­man beer un­der the cap­tion, “Af­ter a long day of sight­see­ing.”

Fam­ily and friends said they’re heart­bro­ken over the loss of a lov­ing hus­band and fa­ther who loved mu­sic.

For the last decade, the cou­ple ran a record­ing stu­dio in their base­ment where he helped mu­si­cians de­velop their tal­ents.

The cou­ple lives in a mid­dle class neigh­bor­hood with small, older homes ar­ranged on both sides of a quiet road in a bed­room community just out­side Salt Lake City.

Melissa Cochran’s brother, Clint Payne, said through a ver­i­fied Go­FundMe ac­count web page that the cou­ple was among the first hit by a ve­hi­cle on the Westminster Bridge.

“Kurt was a good man and a lov­ing hus­band to our sis­ter and daugh­ter, Melissa,” the state­ment said.

Melissa Cochran is still hos­pi­tal­ized. She suf­fered a bro­ken leg, bro­ken rib and a cut and bruises, said friend Mike Mur­phy.

Mur­phy, owner of Mur­phy’s Gui­tars in Boun­ti­ful, said Kurt Cochran would come into his shop reg­u­larly to buy record­ing equip­ment for his base­ment stu­dio where he tried to help young bands get started by charg­ing only a small fee for them to use the stu­dio.

“He loved mu­sic,” Mur­phy said. “He was al­ways around when there were mu­sic things go­ing on.”

Emma Du­gal, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Boun­ti­ful Davis Art Cen­ter, said the cou­ple has been vol­un­teer­ing at the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s an­nual sum­mer arts fes­ti­val for years. Call­ing what hap­pened dev­as­tat­ing, she said they both are very warm, friendly people and as a cou­ple were in­sep­a­ra­ble.

She said Cochran’s death will have a huge im­pact on the mu­sic community, es­pe­cially for young mu­si­cians.

“I know of mu­si­cians who lacked con­fi­dence and who weren’t sure how they wanted to present their tal­ent, but Kurt en­cour­aged them and got them out into per­form­ing, and has just made a huge dif­fer­ence in so many people’s lives.”

Kurt Cochran was a good dad and lik­able guy who will be missed dearly by his two adult sons, said Danny Wi­ley, the step-fa­ther to Cochran’s sons.

Wi­ley said he and Cochran al­ways got along well. He says Cochran loved skate­board­ing and play­ing basketball with his sons.

“It’s dev­as­tat­ing,” Wi­ley said. “He was a good guy, ev­ery­body liked him. He al­ways had a smile on his face.”

Neigh­bor Rick Ge­orge said the cou­ple seemed very ex­cited about their trip to Europe, as it may have been their first big trip in years.


Kurt Cochran, seen here with his wife, Melissa, was killed Wed­nes­day in the ter­ror at­tack in Lon­don. The cou­ple were in Lon­don vis­it­ing Melissa Cochran’s par­ents. Melissa Cochran was in­jured in the at­tack.

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