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Obituaries for March 21, 2019; Carl Kinsey, Dwight Jones, Ralph Beck, Gary Cochran, Linda Cochran, Bert Loftman, Ralph Conner

Carl Kinsey


Reverend Carl Renner Kinsey, 94, of Talking Rock, passed away Wednesday, March 13, 2019.  He was born October 25, 1924 to Robert and Katie Kinsey in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Reverend Kinsey was an ordained minister and began serving the Lord in 1952 and continued to do so throughout his life.  He loved the Lord and his family above all else.

Reverend Kinsey is survived by his wife, Joyce Nichols Kinsey of Talking Rock; daughters and sons-in-law, Brenda and Steve Wood of Murphy, North Carolina, Kaye and Billy Petty of Flowery Branch,  Renee and Jerry Montrose of Talking Rock, Jan and Bruce Bennett of Grayson; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Sara Kinsey of Newnan; seven grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

A funeral service was held  at 2 p.m., Friday, March 15, 2019 in the Chapel of Roper Funeral Home with Reverend Ben Mock and Reverend Tony Ramirez officiating.   A private graveside service was held Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Pine Ridge Memorial Park, Inc. in Kennesaw, Georgia.  

Arrangements are entrusted to the Staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  

Online condolences may be made at


Dwight Jones

September 13, 1948 - March 11, 2019

U.S. Veteran


Dwight "Stanley" Jones, 70, of Talking Rock passed away Monday, March 11, 2019 at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, Jasper.

Stanley is survived by his son, Dwight Stanley Jones, Jr.; siblings, Anthony, Kenneth, Mae, Charles, Mark and Angie, Angie Burgess and Jim, Lynn Nogradi, Tim, Ronnie, Machielle Pinson and Mark; sister-in-law, Faye Jones. Several nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles also survive.

Mr. Jones is preceded in death by his daughter, Geneva Eloisa Jones; parents, J.F. and Geneva Jones; and brother Randy Jones.

Stanley proudly served in the U.S. Army for 20 years. He was then employed by Rosedale Transport where he also retired.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 15, 2019 in the Cagle Funeral Home Chapel. Rev. James Thompson.

Pallbearers: Brandon Jones, Tony Jones, Mike Henson, Tony Jones, Jr., Lamar Logan, and Mike Haygood.

Interment was in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery with full military rites immediately following the funeral services.  

The family accepted flowers or donations made to Cagle Funeral Home to assist with funeral expenses.

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Jones family.


Ralph Beck

December 12, 1944 - March 11, 2019

U.S. Veteran


Mr. Ralph D. Beck, 74, passed away Monday, March 11, 2019 at his residence in Jasper.

Ralph served in the U.S. Army from 1965-1967 at Redstone Arsenal, AL and Miesau, Germany.

Mr. Beck is survived by his wife of 52 years, Susan Fitts Beck of Jasper; son and daughter-in-law, Andy & Jamie Beck of Jasper; daughter and son-in-law, Amy & Michael D'Anthony of Marietta; sister, Martha Beck of Cumming; brother, J.B. Beck of Jasper; grandchildren, Kate Beck & fiancé Dylan Nelson, Jackson Jones, Evan D'Anthony and Julia D'Anthony. A host of nieces and nephews also survive.

Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence & Blanche Beck; and brothers Johnny Beck and Raymond Beck, all of Jasper.

A graveside service was held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Sunrise Memorial Gardens. Rev. Randy Walker officiating.

Local Chapter 47 DAV was in charge of Military Rites.

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Beck family.


Gary Cochran


Gary Cochran, 71, of Nelson, passed away on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at Northside Hospital Cherokee. 

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at Nelson Baptist Church with Rev. Leroy Kelley, Rev. Junior McTaggart and Rev. Jimmy Andrews officiating. Mr. Cochran will lie-in-state at the church on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until the funeral hour.  

Gary was a member and deacon at Nelson Baptist Church. He was a former  volunteer firefighter at Nelson Fire Department and a former Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America. Gary loved his church and singing in the choir. He enjoyed kids and was a animal lover. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family, he was their "Angel on Earth." 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dub and Ora Faye Cochran; brothers, Jackie Cochran and Tony Cochran; survivors include his wife of 47 years, Sue Cochran; children, Jamie Cochran  (Billie Jo), Karrie Cochran and Andrew Cochran (Ashley); grandchildren, Cawl Cochran, Terri Sioux Cochran, Ava Cochran and Adrian Cochran; great-grandchild, Reagan Cochran; siblings, Herman Cochran, Danny Cochran, Kenny Cochran, Byron Cochran, Randy Cochran and Dorothy Russell; granddogs, Ellie and Sophia; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. 

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Nelson Baptist Church, PO Box 117, Nelson, GA. 30151.

Sosebee Funeral Home, Canton, GA, is honored to serve the family. 770-479-2131.


Linda Cochran

August 21, 1947 – March 9, 2019


Linda Louise Needham Cochran, 71, passed away Saturday March 9, 2019 in her sleep after an extended illness. Linda is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, William Dan Cochran of Jasper; son William David Cochran and his wife Cynthia of Flintstone, Georgia; and daughter Nancy Cochran Maddox and her husband Mark of Jasper. 

Linda was born to Flora Needham and Donald Needham in Mechanic Falls, Maine. The family moved to Ohio when Linda was three and later to Dalton, Georgia. Linda spent summers as a child with her Grammy Swallow and Grandma Pulsifer in her old hometown of Mechanic Falls, Maine. After her parents divorced, Linda and her brother Gary moved with their mother to Nelson, Georgia. Linda attended Pickens High School her junior and senior years, and graduated with honors with the class of 1965. 

It was in Ball Ground, Georgia that Linda met her future husband Dan Cochran, at the Sequoyah Restaurant, which was owned by Linda’s mother at the time. Linda saw Dan at the lunch counter one Sunday afternoon after church, and she decided to go over and introduce herself. Dan was three years older than Linda, but that didn’t stop the couple from falling in love and marrying shortly after Linda graduated high school. The couple’s son David was born in 1967 and their only other child, daughter Nancy, was born in 1973. 

In the late 1970s, Linda, along with two other friends, decided to go back to college. Linda was interested in either nursing or education, but nursing was not offered at night, so she chose education. It turned out that Linda had a talent for teaching and relating to children, and she excelled in her college classes. Linda and her friends commuted in the evenings to Reinhardt College where she earned her associates degree Magna Cum Laude. Linda then attended Brenau University for two additional years, and in 1982 she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, Magna Cum Laude. Linda later earned her Masters of Education degree, with honors. 

During the mid to late 1970s, Linda worked at Pickens Footwear, but eventually resigned to focus on school and her family. Throughout the early 1980s Linda worked weekend concessions at concerts and sporting events at the Omni in Atlanta, which gave her a chance to hear and meet popular musical acts of the day. 

After graduation from college, Linda worked for a brief time as a teacher’s aide at Freehome Elementary School until she was offered a full time teaching position at Tippens Elementary School in North Canton in the winter of 1984. Linda’s former Reinhardt professor Marguerite Cline, who was superintendent of schools for Cherokee County at the time, recommended Linda for the teaching position. 

Linda went on to teach for 23 years in the Cherokee County School system, beginning in a first grade classroom and then moving into reading specialist positions. Linda last taught at Hasty Elementary, having taught at Tippens until it was consolidated with Canton Elementary in August of 2005. 

In 2007, Linda retired from teaching at the age of 60. Soon after retirement, Linda became involved in several local charitable organizations, including the Jasper Lions Club, Pickens Retired Educators and Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center where she volunteered in the vision clinic. Linda was a founding member of the Pickens Community Service Club through which she served her community by volunteering at the local food pantry, C.A.R.E.S. Linda also enjoyed working at her daughter’s law office several days per week until her health began a more serious decline in 2015.  

After retirement, Linda and other retired teachers from Hasty and Tippens, known as the “Savannah Girls,” traveled annually to a beach or mountain location, to sightsee and play games. Linda was an avid game player, and was a master at trivia. 

Linda also loved to travel with her husband and various family members. Linda and husband Dan made their first trip together to Linda’s hometown of Mechanic Falls, Maine, with infant son David, in their 1967 Ford Mustang. It has been said that she took so many changes of clothing for David that the entire back seat of the car was filled. Over the ensuing decades, Linda, Dan and various family members traveled several more times back to Maine to see Linda’s Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, and visit favorite places like Acadia National Park, L.L. Bean and Old Orchard Beach. Lobster rolls, Italian sandwiches and lobster boils with family were always a part of the trips as well.  

Linda was also an accomplished artist. She studied under local oil painter Lorraine Fitts. Linda preferred to work with oils, and was especially talented at capturing the form and facial expressions of animals. She and her daughter spent many hours taking art lessons together with Ms. Fitts in her basement studio. In addition to art, Linda loved playing games, shopping and going out to eat with family and friends. She loved her little dog Cindy Lou, big dog Duke and house cat Dodger. 

Linda is also survived by her brothers Mark Needham and his wife Cathy of Ellijay;  Gary Needham and his wife Judy of Canton;  Hank Cook and his wife Kelly of Canton; sister Deborah Needham of Blue Ridge; and Brother-in-law Jimmy Cochran and his wife Brenda of Ellijay. Nephews Corey Needham and Cameron Needham, and nieces Kelly Cochran Prather, Pamela Needham Hatfield, Morgan Cook Mayo, Jade Cook Shankman and Tabitha Crenshaw also survive.  Linda was preceded in death by her brothers Drew Cook and Vernon Needham and her parents Flora Popham and Donald Needham. 

The funeral service for Linda was held on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Roper Funeral Home Chapel. Longtime neighbor and friend, Reverend Jerry Watkins and family friend Reverend Jackie Ellington officiated the service. Rev. Watkins, who is also the director of the local animal shelter, told the story of when Linda picked up Cindy Lou from the shelter, explaining that Cindy Lou tried to bite everyone at the shelter except him, but when Cindy Lou was placed in Linda’s lap, it was just like she had always been there and was home.  

Linda was laid to rest next to the Long Swamp Church Cemetery, surrounded by loving family and friends in a plot especially prepared by her friend Wayne Anderson, son-in-law Mark Maddox and brother-in-law Jimmy Cochran. Pallbearers were Kirk Anderson, Adam Prather, Jim Fitts, Eddie England, Gary Needham, Charles Hammontree, Danny King, and Brian Shedd. Roper Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. The family requested in lieu of flowers that any memorial donations be made to Pickens Community Service Club, 23 Mary Street, Jasper, GA 30143.


Bert Loftman


Bert was born in Cleveland, Ohio, January 6, 1942.  He moved to Newark, Delaware at age 10 and after high school entered Indiana University. He met Bunny Goins there in Calculus class, and after three years they married.  Two weeks after the wedding Bert entered medical school at IU Medical Center. He was drafted into the Army after his surgical internship in Miami and was trained by the Army in anesthesia in Tacoma, Washington.  

They bought their first home in Indianapolis near Bunny’s family and he worked tirelessly for two weeks to transform the landscape before leaving his wife and two toddlers, Erika and Kristina, to travel across the world to serve in Vietnam. He returned to Indianapolis for his neurosurgery residency and shortly thereafter they had their third child, Rickard. Training finally ended and he and the family moved to Atlanta, where he practiced at Piedmont Hospital for 25 years and raised his family.

Bert moved his practice to the north Georgia mountains in 2000, practicing at the old Northside and Piedmont Mountainside hospitals, and bought a part time home in Big Canoe. Eventually, he and Bunny built their dream home on Cox Mountain and became permanent residents. Bert enjoyed being active in the community, socializing, traveling with friends and serving on many committees. It was at Big Canoe that he began his love of bird photography.

Bert always strived to make a positive impact. He engaged passionately in a myriad of pursuits. He wrote and published many editorials, articles and essays. He ran as the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate and later for U.S. Congress as a Republican. He had a thirst for adventure and loved to compete in athletics as intensely as his body allowed. In retirement, he and Bunny spent many hours cycling on their tandem all over the world and cruising on adventure oriented small ships.

He is survived by his wife Bunny (Mara), their children Erika and her husband Elliott, Kristina and husband Michael and their children Anders and Everett, Rickard and his wife Audra and their children Paisley, Sidney, and Armin, his sister Noel, his brother Guy and his wife Connie, and a wonderful large extended family, and friends.

A memorial gift for Bert may be made to the “POA Memorial Tree Fund” to enhance the birding habitat of the McDaniel Meadows, one of his favorite places. Mark the check “Bert Loftman Memorial” and mail to Big Canoe POA, 10586 Big Canoe, Jasper, GA 30143

There will be a memorial service at the Big Canoe Chapel on Saturday the 23rd of March at 11.


Ralph Conner

Ralph Hugh Conner, 71, of Jasper, passed away Sunday, March 17, 2019.  He was born September 27, 1947 to William Ralph and Laura Belle Conner in Forsyth County.

Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Carol Conner of Forsyth County; sisters, Chris Conner of Jasper, Dorothy Conner of Jasper; sister and brother-in-law, Phyllis and Gary Lewis of Perry, Florida.  Many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and other relatives also survive.

The family will be receiving friends at Roper Funeral Home, Wednesday, March 20 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Mr. Conner's cremains will be interred at Georgia National Cemetery at a later date.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  

Online condolences may be made at