Tiffany Randolph Cockrell, founder of Tiffany Yachts, died May 13 at his Virginia home. He was 89.
Early in life, he and his father built Chesapeake Bay deadrise workboats.
Cockrell served in the Navy from 1942-1945, becoming a chief carpenter’s mate and learning boat repair and the design of planing hulls. Recalled during the Korean conflict, he was an instructor at the Damage Control School in Philadelphia. He completed his military service in the Coast Guard Reserve.
After he returned from World War II, Cockrell began building pleasure boats. In the ensuing years, his company built more than 150 yachts and their owners still love and use many of them. Cockrell was joined in his business by his children and grandchildren.
Last year, a fire destroyed the main shop he had spent a lifetime building, but Cockrell lived to see a new modern facility completed.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Lee Jones Cockrell; a son, T. Randolph Cockrell Jr., and his wife, Hoppie; a daughter, Rebecca C. Jones, and her husband, Rex; a son, Odis B. Cockrell, and his wife, Ruthie; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held Sunday.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the RGH Cancer Center Swift-Walker Fund, 101 Harris Drive, Kilmarnock, Va. 22482 or Fairfields Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 656, Burgess, Va. 22432.
Click here for a multimedia tour of Tiffany Yachts narrated by Soundings technical editor Tom Neale.