William Henry Cockley, December 12, 1931 – September 14, 2023.
William “Bill” Cockley was born in Chambersburg, PA, son of Jacob H. and Mary E. Cockley.
He and his sister, Jean E.(Cockley) Baer, grew up on Wilson Avenue and were educated in the Chambersburg School District.
Bill was a member of Boy Scout Troop 127 and was a gifted athlete in school. He competed in both baseball and football, playing varsity from 9th grade through college.
At Shippensburg State Teacher’s College, he excelled in the position as Guard and was granted an honor to play in the Blue/Gray Bowl game, coached by Penn State’s Rip Engel.
During Bill’s time at Shippensburg he was Co-Captain of an undefeated 1952 football season, and lettered in football and baseball all four years of his college career, becoming a member of Who’s Who. A proud moment of Bill’s was Induction into the 1st Shippensburg University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Shippensburg, Bill served in the US Army and was deployed to post-war Korea where he was a MP responsible for the security of the demilitarized zone. When he returned to Chambersburg, Bill became an elementary teacher in the Chambersburg School District and enrolled in a Master’s program at The Pennsylvania State University.
Soon afterward he married the love of his life, Bonita M. (Madden) Cockley. They were married for 67 years and raised their two daughters, Babette M. and Brianne M., at their home on Clinton Ave. Bill and Bonny were both teachers and administrators in the Chambersburg School District.
Bill was famously known as the construction principal, overseeing the rebuilding efforts of two burned down elementary schools, Andrew Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens. He finished his working career as a Regional Principal of Grandview, Lurgan and Letterkenny Schools.
During the summer, he was in charge of the Federal Title I Reading Program and he taught tennis lessons for the Borough of Chambersburg.
Bill and Bonny were avid travelers. Together, they explored many countries across the 7 continents. Their love of travel was a legacy passed down to their children and grandchildren who were often included in their adventures. At home, he enjoyed tending to his garden and restoring antique furniture.
Bill and his family are members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Faith and family were the cornerstones of Bill’s life.
Bill is survived by his wife Bonny, his sister Jean E. Baer, daughters Babette M. Wenerd and her husband David, Brianne M. Parham and her husband George, 5 grandchildren Brandon A. Wenerd, Jared G. Wenerd, Jenelle E. (Wenerd) Donnelly and her husband Shane, Colyn W. Parham and his wife Atley, and Garrett R. Parham. Bill has 3 greatgrandchildren Marley Ryan Donnelly, Hallie Elizabeth Donnelly, and Baker David Donnelly.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Monday, October 2, 2023. Family will receive family and friends an hour prior to the 11 a.m. service.
Interment will be at Union Cemetery, McConnellsburg at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 431 Philadelphia Avenue, Chambersburg or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Big Cove Tannery, 14660 Great Cove Road, Big Cove Tannery, PA 17212.
Arrangements are entrusted to Sellers Funeral Home.
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