Peter Cockshaw, 76, labor analyst

Posted: May 08, 2010

Peter A. Cockshaw, 76, of West Chester, a labor-relations authority and Radnor Township activist, died of cancer Wednesday, May 5 at his home.

From 1971 until retiring several years ago, Mr. Cockshaw headed Communications Counselors, a public-relations firm in Newtown Square that published the newsletter Cockshaw's Construction Labor News+Opinion.

Mr. Cockshaw wrote about construction unions and management, and offered interpretive analysis of crucial labor developments and emerging trends, his son, Eric, said.

He also conducted seminars and delivered speeches, and had appeared as a labor expert before the U.S. Senate Labor Committee, his son said.

Before moving to West Chester 13 years ago, Mr. Cockshaw had been a longtime resident of Radnor. He served on its Ethics Committee and was chairman of that panel in the 1990s. For more than a decade, he was president of the Briarlin Civic Association, in a community of 270 homes in southwest Radnor. With other neighborhood leaders, he organized opposition to certain building projects.

He had been active with youth programs at Newtown Square Presbyterian Church.

A native of West Orange, N.J., Mr. Cockshaw served in the Army in Austria before earning a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College.

He worked in public relations for a utility company; was editor of Contractor News; and worked in public relations for the Gray & Rogers advertising agency in Philadelphia before establishing Communication Counselors.

Since 1962, Mr. Cockshaw had been married to Constance "Pat" Barkdoll Cockshaw. They met on an airplane: He was a passenger and she was a stewardess.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Cindy, and two grandsons.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 10, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 W. Pleasant Grove Rd., West Chester. Friends may call from 10 a.m.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or

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