Cover photo for Thomas Cockrell's Obituary
1942 Thomas 2023

Thomas Cockrell

November 10, 1942 — March 6, 2023

Memorial Services for Thomas Jordan Cockrell will be held Saturday, March 25th at 10:00 AM at First United Methodist Church in Artesia.

Tom passed away peacefully at his home on March 6, 2023 in the presence of his wife Jayne and his daughters Kayci and Jamie.

Tom was born November 10, 1942 in Houston, Texas. While raised a city kid, he spent many summers on his family farm in Princeton, MO where he kindled his love of agriculture and learned farm life.

A standout baseball player in high school, he attended Sul Ross College in Alpine, Texas, where he played baseball before transferring to Texas Tech University. There his agricultural interests continued while he helped to manage the university sheep farm and made lifelong friendships.

He moved to Ft. Stockton, TX to complete his student teaching under the guidance of Peeberry White, then graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Ag Science. During his time in Ft. Stockton, he met Jayne Tittle who would soon become his beloved wife in July of 1967.

Tom began his teaching career in Spearman, TX. After he and Jayne married, they moved to Big Spring, TX where he taught Ag for 2 years. Tom was then offered a sales position with Nalco Chemical in Artesia, NM. That move brought him to where he would call home, raise a family, and return to his love of teaching.

Tom taught Vo-Ag at Artesia High School while earning a Masters of Education degree from Eastern New Mexico University. He enjoyed helping his students learn the art of welding, raising and showing livestock, and competing in FFA contests all over New Mexico.

As an ag teacher, he believed in his students and he did everything he could to help them grow and develop as agriculturists, but his first priority was to help them develop as citizens and leaders. His impact is still apparent in Artesia where there are few people who don't know Tommy and even fewer he didn't know. While he helped so many kids over the years with livestock FFA and 4-H projects, none were more important than the work he put in with Kayci and Jamie. They enjoyed great show ring success, creating fodder for more stories and laughter to be shared.

In 1986, he became the Director of Maintenance for the Artesia Public School System before retiring from APS in 1999. He and Jayne then moved to the Texas Hill Country for 3 years where he was caretaker of the Rippling River Ranch in Hunt. After returning to Artesia, he worked at Santo Petroleum for 10 years.

Tom enjoyed quail hunting, puttering in his shop, and creating a beautiful back yard where he enjoyed spending time with family and friends throughout the years. He had many cherished friends including his neighbors Darren and Danielle Holley, Spencer Crook, Elton Menefee, and Gabriel Samora who were like family to him.

Tom is survived by Jayne, his wife of 55 years, daughter Jamie Cockrell of Artesia, Kayci Vincent and husband Greg and granddaughters Karsen, Reagan, and Jordan, all of Smithville, MO. Survivors also include brothers -in -law Billy Tittle and his wife Phyllis of Buffalo Gap, TX and John Nelson of Barksdale, TX, along with numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.

He's surely in heaven telling everyone, "If you're in the neighborhood, drop by!"

Contributions can be made to the Tom Cockrell Ag Scholarship, which was created by his former student Lynn Holmgren Hall-Alley. Please send checks to:

Arlington FFA

2101 Browning Drive

Arlington, TX 76010

Memo: Tom Cockrell scholarship

The family would like to thank Enhabit Hospice for the amazing care they provided for Tom.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Cockrell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

500 W Grand Ave, Artesia, NM 88210

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