The South Plainfield Elks, along with 10 other lodges in the area, comprise the Central District Elks Association. Every year, each lodge recognizes an outstanding member of their community to honor at our Citizen of the Year Awards Dinner. On March 2nd, the South Plainfield Elks proudly honored William Cochrane. The ceremony was held at the Edison Lodge.
Bill was born on September 1, 1944 and raised in East Orange, New Jersey. He graduated East Orange High School in 1963. He joined the NJ National Guard in September 1963 and was honorably discharged in September 1969. He served active duty from 12/1963 to 6/1964 plus two weeks each summer and during both riots in Newark and Plainfield in 1967. He retired as Staff Sgt. E6.
Bill moved to South Plainfield in August of 1968 with his first wife Lorraine (who is now deceased) and their son Brian who was born in 1966. Three more children followed. Billy Jr is 1969, Michelle and Christopher in 1972 (twins). All four attended South Plainfield Public Schools and graduated from South Plainfield High School.
Bill joined the South Plainfield Police Department on August 31, 1970. He served in the Patrol Division, Youth Aid and Detective Bureau and as Communication’s Coordinator of the 911 Dispatch Center. He retired on January 1, 2000. He served as the South Plainfield P.B.A Local President from 1975 to 1979. He was named a life member of the New Jersey State P.B.A.
In 1982 he graduated from Trenton State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Since 1991, with his wife Georgeann, they own Mohn’s Florist in South Plainfield. Between them, they have 6 children and 6 loving grandchildren.
On top of all his accomplishments, Bill has been very active in the community for many years and still going strong.
1975 Granted membership in South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 and was honored with life membership in 2018.
1978-1979 P.A. Announcer for South Plainfield Pop Warner Football Eagles. Vice President of Pop Warner Executive Board 1986 – 1987.
1978 – 1992 Served as Coach, League Director, Refreshment Stand Director and as Commissioner of the South Plainfield Junior Baseball Club from 1981 to 1985 and was later honored to be made a Life Member.
1979 Initiated, passed and raised into Highland Park Lodge #240 of Free and Accepted Masons.
1979-Present Parishioner of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church South Plainfield. (Served as Church Council President 2010 to 2014). Presently serves as a Deacon and Lector.
1980 - Present P.A. Announcer for South Plainfield High School Football team.
1981 to Present Member of the New Jersey State Federation of Umpires. Served as President in 2004 and presently the Organization’s Treasurer. During almost 40 years of Umpiring, he was honored in 2004 and 2010 to Umpire two N.J. State Finals in High School Softball.
1984-1985 Announcer in front of Borough Hall for So. Plainfield Annual Labor Day Parade.
1985-1986 Coached So. Plainfield Pony Tail Softball.
1986-Present Master of Ceremonies at the reviewing stand for South Plainfield’s Annual Labor Day Parade.
1986 Appointed by Mayor Mike English to The South Plainfield Recreation Commission. Served as Commission President since 1996.
1986-Present Announcer and scoreboard operator for So. Plainfield H.S. Wrestling and Basketball Teams.
1998 Received the extreme honor of being named Honorary Grand Marshall of South Plainfield’s 41St Annual Labor Day parade
1987-Present Member of International Association of Basketball Officials New Jersey Board #33.
1999-Present Acted in and directed several drama, comedy and musical productions for various community theaters.
2010 Honored by The South Plainfield Police Athletic League and Recreation Commission as their recipient of the CAPPY AWARD given to an individual who has exhibited dedicated involvement with the youth of South Plainfield. This award was named after and in memory of Deputy Police Chief Tulio Capparelli who was instrumental in constructing the P.A.L. building and the programs benefiting the youth of our town.
Since January of 2010 Bill has been working part time at The South Plainfield Senior Center as a van driver taking seniors to doctor, therapy and rehab appointments as well as to beauty parlors, barbers, and laundromats.
“It was an honor and pleasure to present our Citizen of the Year Award to this exceptional member of our Community, Mr. William Cochrane, “said Dan Uken, Chairman of Americanism. “ With our sincere gratitude, may he continue to selflessly assist residents and the Community for years to come.”