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James Ellingson Cox

1920 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
James Ellingson Cox Obituary
Sept. 6, 1920 - July 29, 2014
Resident of Lafayette
James Ellingson Cox was born September 6, 1920 to Selma (Ellingson) and John Marshall Cox in St. Louis, Missouri and passed away peacefully at his Lafayette home on July 29, 2014.
James was wounded at Iwo Jima while serving as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. After the war, he returned to Stanford University in California to study law and married Christine DeLap, another Stanford Law student.
He played football at guard position for both Stanford and the University of California as Team Captain. In 1948 he was a professional American football guard for the San Francisco 49ers of the All-America Football Conference.
After graduation James practiced law in the office of the District Attorney of Alameda County. In 1955 he investigated boxing and wrestling practices for the California State Athletic Commission. He joined the firm of Tinning and DeLap, at their Martinez office, and later went into private practice enjoying a distinguished career as a trial attorney in Martinez.
James, Christine, and their two sons, Anthony Ellingson Cox and the late James DeLap Cox lived in Martinez for many years.
He was an avid sportsman with a passion for rainbow trout fishing in Canada and bird hunting in Africa and Spain. One of the favorite family stories is James' long endurance with a fishing rod in hand and a steelhead trout on the line on the Dean River in British Columbia. It was estimated to be a 25 to 30 pound fish with the energy to keep running from 3 in the afternoon when James hooked it, until noon the next day, when the hook broke thru the fish's lip and escaped. Jim's fishing companions kept him supplied through the night with food and coffee while news reporters in helicopters were on the scene for the story.
James was an exuberant, talented, generous man who supported Athletics at his alma mater, Stanford University, and the education of family members to attend schools of their choice. He delighted in sharing his vast experiences with family and his many friends.
James' family includes Christine Cox of Orinda, his son Anthony Ellingson Cox and grandson (Anthony's son) Trevor Miller Cox of Santa Cruz, his brother Jack's children John Marshall Cox and William Cox, and his sister Pauline's children Diane, Anthony, and Denise DeMaria. Nancy E. Cox preceded him in death.
James will be remembered as an adventurous, gifted, honorable, and joyful gentleman in a private commemoration for family and close friends.

Published in Contra Costa Times on Aug. 22, 2014
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