AUTHOR & HUMOURIST
Don S. Cochrane
It has been said that a writer goes to the well of his experience in order to draw material for his stories. If that is true, then Don Cochrane has an ocean to draw from. Don graduated in 1953 from the Canadian School of Embalming in Toronto as its youngest graduate. He spent the next twelve years as a Funeral Director and operated his own business in a small town in Northwestern Ontario. To survive, he ran the funeral home along with an ambulance service, a flower shop and an insurance agency. It was stated by the locals that “from the womb to the tomb with Cochrane, he'll make a buck on you!”
He later returned to college and studied social work and counseling. For the next nine years he was employed by the Lakehead Board of Education. His counseling department dealt with drug, discipline and attendance problems of the students from over 50 schools.
In 1978 he moved to British Columbia, residing in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. He was employed as the director of a government-sponsored drug and counselling service for the area. In 1994 he was named chairman of the combined federal and provincial initiative dealing with over 300 job losses as the result of the closure of a local mill. The program was so successful that two years later he was appointed Forest Jobs Commissioner by the B.C. premier. In 1996, the post of Executive Director of the Forest Worker Transition Program was added to his duties. This included directing a staff of 50 with a program that dealt with over 12,000 displaced workers during a time of great labour unrest.
Over the years, Don has also taught and lectured to professional, education, law enforcement, military and industrial organizations (including safety, stress management and youth problems). This included summer courses for counsellors at both Queen's and Western Universities. He has been a featured speaker at international, national and provincial conferences. He is known for his humorous but down to earth interpretation of serious matters. He has also done numerous presentations on aging at conferences and for Probus, Newcomers Club, Freemasons, etc. Since his retirement nearly 15 years ago, Don has written five books—Simply Essential Funeral Planning (for Self Counsel Press), Die Laughing, The Autumn Ring and The Last Supper Murders. He had just published his new book, To "L" with Aging, which once again uses humour alongside his wisdom and insights on aging in the 21st century.
Don currently resides in Parksville with his wife Pamela.