Utah man remembered as mentor to musicians
Kurt Cochran and his wife were among the first hit.
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.