Mon. Jul 13th, 2020

Prominent Savannah Business-Couple Killed In Private Plane Crash, Leave Five Beautiful Kids, 10-Months To 13-Years-Old Orphaned

This was one beautiful couple, whom I knew personally and their family and friends are devastated.  Two members of the Atlanta business community were killed Monday during a plane crash near the Bryan/Effingham County line.


Catherine and Byron Cocke died when their six-seater chartered airplane crashed while flying from Savannah to Cobb County. A third person, pilot Randy Hunter, was also killed in the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. Details on the crash can be found here.


The Savannah couple were described as a “shining light” by the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association Board, of which Byron was advisor.


Byron and Brett Finkelstein co-founded Cocke Finkelstein Inc. in 2004, which has evolved into a full-service real estate investment, multifamily property management, asset management, consulting and development firm. In 2013, CFI bought Lane Management LLC, creating CF Real Estate Services property management, one of the nation’s largest multi-family property management firms.


Cocke led the operations, construction and business development team, with responsibilities involving strategic planning and growth of the company.

Catherine was owner and designer at Catherine Cocke Interiors, located Southeast of Atlanta Memorial Park. Her website notes accolades for her work and being featured in an episode of HGTV’s “My Big Amazing Renovation.”

WTOC reported that both were members of the Historic Savannah Foundation. The couple leaves behind five children, ages 10 months to 13-years-old.

Byron is an heir and descendant of General John Hartwell Cocke, of the Revolutionary War, who not only argued against how his dear friend President Thomas Jefferson mistreated his slaves.  But General Cocke also defied Virginia law and not only educated his slaves, but built a chapel on his plantation for his slaves to worship God.  That chapel is now moved a few miles to the Cocke family’s Episcopal Church.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy: AP

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