COCKRAM JR., Lester Thornton


Lester Thornton

March 27, 1950

August 3, 2019

Lester Thornton Cockram Jr., 69, born on March 27, 1950 in Bassett, Va., died on Saturday, August 3, 2019 from a work related accident. He lived at Area 314, Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs, Fla. with his significant other of 13 years, Theresa Floyd.

He is also survived by his daughter, Tara Justice and her husband, Tony of Tallahassee, Fla.; his brother, Doyle Cockram and his wife, Lysa of Alexandria, Va.; and his Sister, Wanda McMillian and her husband, Mark, of Kure Beach, N.C.

Predeceased by father, Lester Thornton Cockram, Sr.; and mother, Edith Gracie Cockram.

Lester worked 45+ years in the field of Gas Transmission at ITT, ENRON and Florida Gas. He specialized in pipeline telemetry, electrical wiring and circuits, and lightning protection.

Lester was an Eagle Scout, loved adventure and nature. He also was an avid thrill seeker, risk taker, loved the adrenaline and challenge as a Marathoner, Certified Deep Sea Diver, Hiker, Rock Climber, Summit Seeker / Ice Climbing. He climbed the highest peaks in all 50 states and five of the seven highest mountains in the world. His proudest moment was when he achieved the summit of the Matterhorn at the age of 67.

In his spare time, Lester was a ham radio operator (his call sign was KU4F) and an amateur radio astronomer. As a ham radio operator, he talked to other hams around the world by bouncing signals off the moon. In the North Florida ham radio community, Lester was known for his generosity and willingness to help other ham radio operators. As a radio astronomer, he was a member of the Society of the Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) and was one of only 20 amateurs in the world (he was the 2nd in North America) to detect a pulsar. Only two years ago this was thought to be impossible for an amateur to do. Because of this work with large dish antennas, Lester was well known by the scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV and was called 'friend' by many brilliant minds.

There will be a celebration of life for Lester in the near future in Ocala, FL. To leave condolences please go to Crevasse's Simple Cremation Inc at Memorial donations can be made to SARA / Central Florida Astronomical Society, Inc. PO Box 620907 Oviedo, Fla. 32762-0907 or to the Loften High School of Amateur Radio Club, 3000 East University Ave, Gainesville, Fla. 32641. Lester was dedicated in helping / member of both of these organizations.