Charlotte Webster Cockman
Look out Saint Peter, Charlotte Webster Cockman is on her way! Her friends say she has her family’s first six months in Heaven planned and Saint Peter’s organized for the next 10,000 years.
Charlotte Cockman, beloved wife and mother, and organizer extraordinaire, passed away on November 19, 2007. The nearest thing to perpetual motion God created, Charlotte was a retired school teacher who taught in schools in Tabor City, Thomasville, Burlington, Chapel Hill and at Fred Olds School and Sherwood Bates in Raleigh, North Carolina. She deeply impacted the lives of all of her students.
Charlotte was born May 29, 1927 to the late James and Lelia Waters Webster. She was raised in Hunter’s Bridge Christian Church located between Washington and Belhaven. In recent years, she attended New Hope Baptist Church in Raleigh and the First Christian Church in Morehead City. Charlotte graduated from Bath High School and Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College). While teaching in Thomasville, she met and married the love of her life, David Reece Cockman. As David likes to say, Charlotte earned her P.H.T. (putting husband through) degree by working during his law school years at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Charlotte lived life in a whirlwind of activity. As a teacher, she not only taught her students, but also made a point of assisting other teachers in any manner required, requested or needed. She was an accomplished home decorator, expert gardener and organizer. She also demonstrated expert skills as a seamstress and chef.
Among her numerous accomplishments, Charlotte maintained home gardens of renown at both her residence in Raleigh and her home in Morehead City. Visitors never left her home without flowers, plants and/or vegetables from her garden.
Charlotte organized her neighbors, known as “the Ladies of Foxcroft” or the “Foxcroft Femmes,” and led them in efforts to beautify the Foxcroft neighborhood in Raleigh. She did the same with her neighbors in Spooner’s Creek in Morehead City. In Raleigh, Charlotte pulled together a group known as the “Lunch Bunch” which remains active forty years after it originated.
Christmas was one of Charlotte’s favorite times of the year. Newspapers and the television show “PM Magazine” featured her fully decorated houses in Raleigh and Morehead City at Christmas. She had guided house tours during the holiday season and turned over the entire proceeds to Dorothea Dix Hospital to be used for parties for the patients. Of special note was a revolving Christmas tree made of electrical conduit and sprockets. The tree was decorated with hundreds of different sized balls covered with ribbons, baubles, beads and jewelry. The balls were hung on the tree with fishing line so that they looked like planets spinning around the revolving tree.
Charlotte was the beloved mother of her son, Reece, and the Cockman home was the center of attention for neighborhood children as Reece grew up. Charlotte was known to gather them up and take them on outings to movies, parks and even gem hunting.
When tragedy or joyful events occurred among friends, neighbors or acquaintances, Charlotte could be counted on to be among the first to arrive and the last to leave. Charlotte and David loved to cook and entertain, so their home could be counted on as a center of social activity. They also loved to travel the world and their ship’s cabin was usually the social hub of any cruise.
Charlotte reveled in her role as grandmother. She played games, read books, performed science experiments, and in general enhanced the lives of her two grandsons. Friends were known to request attendance at the “Charlotte Cockman Grandma’s School.”
During her life, Charlotte started two businesses. She and her son, Reece, sold plants raised in their garden to local Raleigh stores and ultimately to a national chain store. She also was the proprietor of “You’re the Greatest,” which sold thousands of spice mat trivets and other arts and crafts to customers in all fifty states and in Canada.
Charlotte is survived by her husband of more than 53-years, David Reece Cockman, her son, David R. “Reece” Cockman, Jr. and wife, Kristy Ellis Cockman, and her grandsons, Colton Reece Cockman (13) and David Ellis Cockman (9). She is also survived by two sisters, Levelle Dupelle of Newington, Virginia and Martha Franco of Coco, Florida, three sisters-in-law, Rachel Trull of Kernersville, Ruth Callicutt of Randleman, Helen Cockman of Greensboro and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Florence Militello, James Asa Webster, and Cornelius Tetterton.
A celebration of Charlotte’s life will be held at the Munden Funeral Home in Morehead City on Saturday, November 24th at 11 a.m. A second celebration will be held at New Hope Baptist Church, 4301 Louisburg Road, Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday, November 26th at 2 p.m. with the Reverend Dr. Jack Coffey conducting the service. The family will receive friends following each service. Her ashes will be interred in a private service at Raleigh Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the General Scholarship Fund at Barton College, P. O. Box 5000, Wilson, NC 27893 in memory of Charlotte Webster Cockman.
Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home &Crematory.
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