Life's journey for Lori Jean began on November 1, 1957, in Shelby, born the fourth of the five children of Robert H. Cockrell and Emilie Maja Nobialek Cockrell. In her early years she resided in Shelby and attended St. William's and Meadowlark Schools and participated in Special-ed classes in Sunburst. She spent several years at Boulder River School and Hospital and later resided in group homes for developmentally disabled individuals in Helena, Great Falls and Choteau. Choteau was her residence for the better part of her adult life. In 2004, after years of debilitating epileptic seizures that took a devastating toll on her physical health, she entered Teton Medical Center in Choteau. She continued to face more physical challenges but now she was safe in the care of a facility that came to be her home. It was there, in the early morning hours of December 22, 2023, that Lori passed away at the age of 66.
All that knew her, loved her endearing smile and sense of humor. Throughout her life she was blessed with a childlike innocence, accepting others unconditionally. Lori was incapable of having animosity towards anyone. She loved music, especially the Beatles and the Monkees, and loved to dance along as she listened. As a young girl, she loved the swimming pool in Shelby and in the summer would often be found there, many times having slipped away from family's watchful eyes. Her favorite meal was a grilled cheese sandwich, and invariably, she would request her favorite beverage, coffee. It was in her youthful, gregarious nature to go visit neighbors and she was known to invite herself in and request a cup of coffee.
She was preceded in death by her parents and eldest brother, Earl Cockrell. Surviving family include brothers Craig (spouse Denise) of Canyon Country, CA, Kent of Shepherd, MT, sister Rosemary (spouse Daniel) Roberts of Belgrade, MT, Sister-in-law, Christine Cockrell of Plains, MT. She is also survived by multiple nephews, a niece as well as numerous great-nieces and nephew.
Lori's ashes will be interred in the same plot with her mother in Mountain View Cemetery in Shelby and a graveside memorial will be held Spring of 2024, the date of which will be announced later.
Our family wishes to give heartfelt thanks to the staff at Teton Medical Center/Benefis for their excellent care of our beloved sister for so many years. Over the 19 years that Lori spent in their care, the staff was an important part of her life and were her 'family'. We will be forever grateful for their dedicated service.