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October 1, 1920 - March 19, 2013
Jack Cox went to be with God Tuesday, March 19, 2013. His life began as a towheaded boy in Mill Creek, Oklahoma and ended as a silver headed gentleman overcome by leukemia in Sandpoint, Idaho. He considered himself an ordinary man whom God had blessed with love and family and friends. Those who knew him considered him to be an extraordinary man who overcame challenges and inspired others.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II he eloped with his sweetheart Roberta Louise Cooper. They shared every challenge and joy life offered them until her death March 5, 2000. After that he greeted every sunrise with a prayer that day would be the day he could join her...so great was his grief in her passing.
World War II took him to Guam where his enemies machine gunned his legs and his buddies moved out leaving him wounded in a fox hole awaiting medics. He was rescued from that fox hole and sent home aboard a hospital ship with an injury determined to be crippling for life. That injury earned him a Purple Heart.
Upon release from the hospital he and Roberta began rebuilding their lives. He was determined not to be a cripple. They moved to Turlock, California where he honed his skills, developed his reputation and built his own auto repair business. He retired at age 50.
He loved to be on the water. During the years he and Roberta were raising their family he designed and personally built a wooden hulled cabin cruiser he christened No Float. He designed and personally built a steel jet cabin cruiser he christened Sea Gal. He owned and operated a fishing marina in the California deltas near Stockton. He owned and operated a marina in Pacific Grove, California with a fleet of glass bottomed boats.
Upon retirement he and Roberta began their exploration of America. For over 20 years they crisscrossed the continent viewing America's wonders, making new friends and visiting family. They filmed every journey and when they could no longer travel they relived their fun through their films. They considered America to be the best, most beautiful, most diverse country in the world.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Roberta Louise Cooper; his father, Thomas Cox; his mother Vollie Fairchild Cox; his sisters Urita Cox Lindsay and Maurine Maher Tschantz; his brother Leon Cox; and his nephew Ronald Lindsay.
He is survived by his daughter Patricia (Leonard) Quail, Sandpoint, Idaho; his son Bill (Barbara) Cox, Etiwanda, California; his nephew Jerry (Stephanie) Cox, Sandpoint; his niece Penny (Brett) Fejef, Leesburg, Virginia; his niece Wanda (Jim) Watson, Cottage Grove, Oregon; his nephew Thomas (Joan) Maher, Salinas, California. He is survived by four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, and 24 grand nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at Turlock Memorial Funeral Home, 425 North Soderquist, Turlock, California on Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m.
Published in the Modesto Bee on Mar. 28, 2013