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Brent Allen Cockrum

July 11, 1969 September 15, 2019
Brent Allen Cockrum
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Obituary for Brent Allen Cockrum
Brent Allen Cockrum was born on July 11, 1969 in Springfield, Missouri to Floyd Cockrum and Elaine (Davis) Cockrum. He had one sister, Tracie (Brad) Rumley, Billings, Missouri, and 2 brothers, Jason (Leslie) Cockrum, Ozark, MO, and Eric Cockrum, Springfield, MO.

He graduated from Clever High School in Clever, MO, joined the Marines that summer and spent his entire 4 years stationed at Kaneohe Marine Air Base in Hawaii, were he served alongside many marines along the way who would become his brothers.

Brent and Anita met while he was home on recruiter duty in 1988. They were scheduled to be married August 18, 1990. However, shortly before the wedding, Iraq invaded Kuwait and Brent’s unit was sent overseas. His unit was in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait during Desert Storm. They found their way through mine fields into Kuwait city just days before the Iraqi's surrendered. After seven months in the desert, Brent made his way home and they were married in Kansas City, MO on March 23, 1992.

Once home, Brent had difficulty finding work. Everywhere he applied he heard the same message. He didn’t have the skills needed. To support his family, he went back to the job he had held all through high school at McDonald's. He did this to support his wife Anita, who was attending college, and their little baby, Aaron. Despite working at McDonald’s not measuring up to the prestige of having been in the Marine Corps, you would never hear him complain.

While working full time, Brent attended college at Missouri State University. After Anita graduated as a Speech Language Pathologist from the same university, they moved to Smithville, Missouri. Anita went to work for a school district and Brent took a job as a security guard and later went to work for General Motors.

In 1992, Brent and Anita welcomed their first son, Aaron Michael Cockrum. In 1997, they had their second son, Andrew Michael Nicholas Cockrum and in 2000, their daughter Malia Danielle Cockrum was born. Each of their children added a new spice to their lives. Brent loved them all beyond measure and strived to create the best life for them that he could. It was his greatest joy to see them succeed and he watched over them like a hawk. They were the best of him and he couldn’t be more proud.

In June of 2011, Jillian Mae Schauwecker, the light of papa’s world, would be born to his son Aaron. From the minute she took her first breath, she was a joy to him and no matter how sick he was, his whole face would brighten up when she came to visit.

Brent had always wanted to work in the medical field. While working at GM, he and Anita began working to become debt free so that he would have the option to go back to school. About the time that they accomplished their goal, GM offered a "buy out" for employees to leave employment with GM, which allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming a nurse. Shortly after enrolling in the Nursing course, it was discovered he needed quadruple bypass surgery. Brent had surgery and one week after getting out of the hospital, he took his final exams and passed.

Following his graduation, he went to work at Liberty Hospital and then the Surgery Center at Liberty Hospital where he worked as an Operating Room Nurse. Three years ago, Brent had the opportunity to become a travel nurse. During his travel tenure, he worked at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska; St. Alexius Hospital in Bismark North Dakota; Citizen’s Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Missouri and Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire. He had the great honor of working with so many wonderful nurses, doctors, surgical techs, etc. at each hospital and had many great memories and stories he loved to retell, over and over. Through those assignments, he learned he had a love of teaching and traveling.

During the summer of 2018, Brent and Anita were able to spend the whole summer in the New England states while Brent worked. They had the time of their lives and had decided to reduce their living expenses to allow them to spend more time traveling. They sold their home on four acres in Smithville and moved into a beautiful little home in Kansas city, Missouri. Brent had become ill in August 2018 with what would later be diagnosed as stage IV prostate cancer. Though the diagnosis was a complete surprise, what did not surprise was the way Brent lived and worked through the initial stages of his cancer without letting it stop him.

During his illness, his primary concern was making sure that his family was okay. He was ever the gentle and soft-spoken man, no matter how ill. In the last several years, he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time traveling with both sides of the family and he cherished those times even more as he became unable to travel.

As the gravity of his illness became clear, there were many opportunities to discuss things of great life importance. A common thread the was woven in and out of all of those conversation was the importance of love and devotion to relationships, because without relationships, everything else has no meaning. It was his greatest desire that everyone in his life know how much he loved and appreciated the relationship that he had with each person.

From the time he entered the Marine Corp until his last day as a Nurse, Brent fulfilled his personal dedication to care for, uplift, support, protect and sacrifice when necessary. He was true to his country, true to his family, true to Marine Corps brothers, true to his nursing family, true to his God and true to himself. Our lives will be sadder without him but, we are proud to have known him.

Brent Brent is survived by his wife, Anita Cockrum; his son, Aaron Cockrum(Tara Melton); his son, Andrew Cockrum; his daughter, Malia Cockrum; his grand-girl, Jillian Schauwecker; his father, Floyd Cockrum; his sister Tracie Rumley(Brad); his brother, Jason Cockrum (Leslie); his brother, Eric Cockrum; his father-in-law, Tony Carter; his mother-in-law, Pat Carter; his sister-in-law Tracy Tormes; his nieces Krystin(Brodie), Kendra (Brad) and Autumn; his nephews Koltin, Cameron, Kadin, Rafael, Eli and Noah; and numerous cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.

Graveside Services will be held at:
Leavenworth National Cemetery
150 Muncie Road
Lansing, KS 66048
Time: 11:00 am
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Please arrive 15 minutes before service start.
Service will last about 45 minutes. Brent was not a flashy guy and preferred to dress comfortably. Because of this we ask that you wear what you feel comfortable wearing. The immediate family will be wearing Marine Corps T-shirts to honor Brent's pride in being a Marine. Please feel free to do the same.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider donating to Shannon's House which is a not for profit effort that his sister-in- law, Tracy, has founded to help families with children with Autism. (see link below)
Following the services, we would greatly appreciate everyone joining us for a dinner and reception We will go directly to the reception location from the services and expect to be arriving between 12:30 and 1 pm.
Reception will be held at:
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
1600 route 291
Liberty, MO 64068
Time: approximately 1:00
Please proceed to room 317 and 318 (located upstairs)

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11:00 AM 9/19/2019 11:00:00 AM - 11:45 AM 9/19/2019 11:45:00 AM
Leavenworth National Cemetery

150 Muncie Rd.
Leavenworth, KS 66048

Leavenworth National Cemetery
150 Muncie Rd. Leavenworth 66048 KS
United States

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