E.E. “Gene” Cockrill, lifelong Cameron County resident, peacefully passed away at home the morning of April 17, 2017 at the age of 86.
Mr. Cockrill was born in Harlingen, July 11, 1930, the fourth child of Elward Estil and Kathryn (Brunnemann) Cockrill. The family relocated to Brownsville where he grew up, attending Brownsville schools and Texas Southmost College. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Fighting within the Pusan Perimeter, he was wounded in combat on February 10, 1951, earning the Purple Heart Medal.
Upon discharge from the Corps, he enrolled at the University of the Americas in Mexico City where he earned a degree in Foreign Trade.
Mr. Cockrill worked at the Port of Brownsville almost his entire life, starting out at the age of 14 unloading bananas, then into stevedoring and eventually with the Brownsville Navigation District starting as Harbormaster to retiring as Deputy Port Director.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, one brother and one son, James.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patsy Ann (Hadley) Cockrill (whom he cherished), and two sons, Gene, Jr. and Gary (Selena) Cockrill.
Also surviving are six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, along with many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Cockrill greatly enjoyed the marvels of life and everyone he encountered. Towards his family, friends, God and country he truly lived up to his beloved Marine Corps’ motto- “Semper Fi”!
Graveside services will be held at Mont Meta Memorial Park at 1:30 PM on Friday, April 21, 2017 with military honors by VFW Post 2035.
You are invited to sign the guestbook or share a memory at www.buckashcraft.com.
Arrangements are with Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home, 710 Ed Carey Dr., Harlingen, TX 78550, (956) 423-3636.