Life Story Funeral Homes®
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Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Diane Lee (Nelson) Cochran

November 3, 2023
Richland, MI




Diane Lee (Nelson) Cochran's faith became sight when she went home to be with Jesus on Friday, November 3, 2023, at the age of 79, after a lengthy, valiant journey with dementia. Diane was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 2, 1944, to the late Kenneth and Darlene (Davison) Nelson. On April 28th, 1963, Diane married the love of her life, James Dale Cochran.

After supporting her husband while he served for 10 years in the United States Marine Corp, and after living in many different states, Jim and Diane made their residence in Richland, Michigan, in the home Jim built for their family. They had three children: Lorrie, James Jr. (Jimmy), and Jessica. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013, just months before Jim passed away, unexpectedly.

Diane graduated high school in 1962. Following her graduation, she worked for many years in the grocery business. After beginning her career with Borgess Medical Center, Diane faithfully worked in financial assistance for 28 years before retiring. Diane was a hard worker and would not only diligently fulfill her duties, but would always strive to go above and beyond. She rarely missed a day of work and always wanted to do her best. Diane helped countless families navigate difficult times in their lives while their loved ones were in the hospital, both financially and as a person who had compassion for their souls. Diane would pray with families and do whatever she could to serve their needs. She had a habit of always placing others before herself.

Diane would say that her greatest decision in life is when she came to Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. Diane was devoted to serving her Lord in her daily life, as well as in many church ministries including at The Kalamazoo Missionary Church, Southside Church of the Nazarene, Temple Baptist Church, and Prairie Baptist Church. She taught Sunday School for years and always brought her students donuts each Sunday, which made them feel so special. She loved being the hands and feet of Jesus in her service to those around her. It was always her heart to ask what a person needed or if there was anything she could do for them. If she knew you, it is guaranteed that she took your name before the throne of grace. She would picture the church pews and walk down them in her mind, praying for each individual by name, as well as her family, friends, neighbors, and anyone she met. She was a prayer warrior of the absolute greatest kind and fought her battles down on her knees!

Diane loved to work puzzles, go to garage sales, ride roller coasters in the very front seat, go on vacations with her family, take her grandchildren on adventures, and cook hearty, delicious meals for friends and family to enjoy. She was well known for her chocolate fudge, potato salad, "Sunday go to meetin' rolls", and pumpkin bars, just to name a few. You could always count on her to feed you well. Everything she made was fully homemade and created and served with love. Nothing she ever made tasted bad. Diane longed for Heaven and would share that with many. She knew this life was fleeting and would encourage those around her not to lay up their treasures here on Earth, but in Heaven, where moth and dust cannot corrupt. She was ready to meet her Lord. She no doubt was welcomed with, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!" Diane is survived by her children, Lorrie (Ricky) Sinclair, James (Julie) Cochran Jr., and Jessica (Mike) Cusano; grandchildren, Melissa (Dustin) Howard, Kodi (Marya) Cochran, Cole (Eretia) Warner, Katie (Jr.) Mattson, Ainsley, Paige, Chloe, and Lincoln Cusano; great-grandchildren, Jamie, Levi, Wyatt, Ryleigh, Kaylie, James, and Eli; In Laws, Lillian Nelson, Bonnie Nelson, and several nieces. Diane was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, James; her loving brothers, Darryl Nelson and James Nelson. Friends may meet with the family from 11:00am-12:00 Noon on Thursday, November 9 at Langeland Funeral Home, 3926 S 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 where services will follow at 12 noon. Interment will follow at Ft. Custer National Cemetery where she will be laid to rest with her husband, James. Memorial contributions may be made in Diane's honor to ProMedica Home Health & Hospice (Gentiva). To view Diane's personalized guestbook, please visit