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E.T. Cockrell

January 30, 1934 ~ February 6, 2021 (age 87)







E.T. Cockrell, 87, of South Pittsburg gained his heavenly wings on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at his home with his family at his side.   He was born on January 30, 1934 to the late Clyde Cockrell and Helen Janeway Cockrell.  E.T. was married to Jere Matthews Cockrell for 43 years.


At the age of 18 years old, E.T. enlisted into the United States Army.  With only an eleven and half year education, E.T. succeeded in earning his GED while serving in the Army.  E.T. served from December, 1951 to February, 1955.    At the time of his Honorable Discharge, E.T. was honored as one of the highest ranked Sergeant’s in the United States Army. 


After returning home, E.T. served four years from February, 1955 to February, 1959 as a heavy equipment operator under the Apprenticeship through the GI Bill with Yancey Brothers Caterpillar Tractor Company in August, GA.  After leaving this company, he became employed from March, 1959 to March, 1962, with Claussen Lawrence Construction Co. in Augusta, GA as a master mechanic allowing him to continue his career working in heavy equipment along with portable power generators.


From 1962 to 1967, E.T. spent the next five years working for Southern Diesel Co. in Clearwater, SC.  This position gained him the experience and knowledge to better prepare him for the future in heavy machinery.  During this time, he attended the Eculid Division of General Motors School for additional training on transmissions and drive-trains.


In the late 1967 to 1970, E.T. worked in powerhouse construction and heavy machinery in the United States and world-wide.   Then from 1970 to 1972, E.T. became employed with Kimberly-Clark Paper Co. in Coosa Pines, AL as a maintenance supervisor on paper machines and powerhouses.


In 1972, he gained employment for the next five years with General Electric Co. (I&SE) in Atlanta, GA as a field engineer in various positions as installing boiler feed pumps, fan turbines, fluid couplings, reduction gears along with all phases of turbine installation, alignment and final roll off.


E.T. became a valuable employee with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in Chattanooga, TN from March 27, 1977 to October 28, 1988 with the Rotating Equipment Group.   His job description was repairs to major overhaul of turbines, auxiliary equipment, pumps, fans, drive turbines and hydraulic fluid couplings. 


With his overall career knowledge, classroom training, and experience, E.T. was voted into the General Motors “Craftsmen Guild.”    While at TVA, when he wasn’t involved in turbine maintenance work, E.T. was teaching at the nuclear plants to the personnel that were involved with the emergency generator responsibilities.


After leaving TVA, he became a self-contractor for Morrison Knudsen in diesel engine maintenance.   His last assignment with this company was in Spain at Naval Moral Nuclear Plant.


In 1990 to 1991, E.T. became employed and ended his work career with Brock and Blevins Construction Co. as a Field Superintendent on installing 640 MW G.E. turbines at Baltimore Gas and Electric. 


After retiring, E.T. began raising bloodhounds for rescue missions.  Marion and Grundy County along with other counties, called upon E.T.’s dog services for many years in the tracking of lost family members.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Clyde Cockrell and Helen Janeway Cockrell.


E.T. leaves his lifetime of memories with his wife, Jere Matthews Cockrell; son, Daniel Cockrell; daughters, Karen Cockrell, Robin (Joel) Steinbach,  Tracy (John) Johnson and Sharon Cockrell; grandchildren, Shannon Crabtree and Lexy Johnson; great-grandchildren, Logan and Lilli Crabtree along with beloved family and friends. 


The family wishes to thank the caregivers, Michelle and Carolyn, for the special love, care, attention and dependability during the time of E.T.’s illness.   They were a special part of their families lives.


E.T. was laid to rest in a private military service conducted by the Sequatchie Valley Honor Guard at the dust of dark of 5:00 pm CT on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Sequatchie Valley Memorial Gardens in Jasper, TN along with Pastor Ronnie Case officiating. 


Funeral arrangements entrusted to Tate Funeral Home, LLC, 950 Mel Dixon Lane, Jasper, TN  37347, 423-942-9500.


Condolences may be sent to the family at www.tatefh.com




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Graveside Service
February 6, 2021

5:00 PM
Sequatchie Valley Memorial Garden Cemetery

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