TIMOTHY R. COCOZZA, LT, USN
Timothy Cocozza '70
Date of birth: April 19, 1946
Date of death: May 15, 1976
From the 1970 Lucky Bag:
From the Class of 1970 40th Reunion Book:
Tim attended Naval Academy Prep School prior to USNA. His dream was to become a Naval aviator. Following graduation, Tim was assigned temporary duty at the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, PA. Tim married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen Hewitt, known to their friends as Mime.
Tim attended flight school in 1971. Tim and Mime’s house was usually the social center for the Class of 1970 in Pensacola. Tim went multi-engine in flight school. After getting his wings, he was assigned to the Naval Research Laboratory flying the S-2 from Andrews AFB as a host platform for technology tests. Tim was then assigned as a flight instructor and standardization officer for VT-2 in Pensacola. Tim had orders to transition to an S-3 squadron in San Diego, California and was finally going to achieve his goal of flying carrier-based jet aircraft.
Tim was one of seven children and wanted to see his extended family before leaving for San Diego. On May 15, 1976, while on a cross-country training flight from Pensacola to Atlantic City with an Iranian student onboard, he encountered severe weather and clear air turbulence near Fort Gordon, Georgia. The aircraft broke apart and Tim and his student died in the crash. There was a celebration of his life in the Whiting Field Chapel. His ashes were later released into the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola Beach, the site of many happy times. Tim and Mime had two sons, Timmy and TJ. TJ passed away nineteen months after Tim from a very rare genetic disease called Seidelberger’s syndrome. Mime later married William “Biff” Waltman, USNA Class of 1972. They returned to the Philadelphia area where they continue to live. Their daughter, Erin, and son, Timmy, are both married. They have two beautiful grandsons, Bryce and Blake.