Geneva Cockerham’s family celebrated her life last month. The 98-yr-old passed away on May 14, 2022 and although her family lost its matriarch, there was still an opportunity to celebrate her life and the legacy she left behind.
That’s because before Cockerham’s passing, there were six generations alive at once, seemingly unheard of compared to what people deem “normal” sized families to be.
“We’re all so very close,” said Alexis Jones, Cockerham’s great-great grandchild. “The kids in the family understood the meaning. Most kids don’t even get to know their grandparents that well.
“She’s taught us so many things from living off the land to being married for 77 years,” she added. “You just don’t see that nowadays.”
Jones’ son Reed, 2, is one of Cockerham’s two great-great-great grandchildren.
Cockerham’s husband died in December 2016. On a brighter note, the family hasn’t endured many losses over the years.
Cockerham had 55 descendants and only one is no longer living.
Jones recalled some of the stories her grandmother shared ranging from early years of airplanes to experiencing the difference in communication from her childhood to present day with social media.
“She was around when airplanes became a thing that people can do,” Jones said. “She saw communication go from a donkey or a horse to now you can call anybody in the world. It’s an incredible legacy that she left. For us to be as close as we are, we owe it all to her and my grandfather.”
Cockerham was 98-years-old at the time of her death, but Jones said her death still came as a surprise and the situation escalated quickly.
She suffered a fall and the time between her fall and her death spanned about a week.
“We thought in my family that she was never going to die and that she would live longer than all of us,” Jones joked. “We said we couldn’t even be sad. I got to have my great-great grandmother for 25 years. That’s unheard of.”
In addition to the two great-great-great grandchildren, Cockerham left behind 29 great-great grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, six grandchildren & three children.
“We wanted the world to know that good things still happen,” Jones said. “We just want to honor her.”