Forrest Patrick Cox, born Feb. 11, 1930, passed away Tuesday morning, Nov. 20, 2013, surrounded by family. Services will be held Saturday morning. Burial with full Military Honors will be held at Altus Cemetery at 10 .am. with the Rev. Johnny Morrow officiating. Celebration of the life will be held at Altus First United Methodist Church with the Rev. David D. Player officiating at 11 a.m. Services are under the direction of Lowell-Tims Funeral Home of Altus.
Forrest "Fuzz" Cox, the second of five sons, was born at Lee City, Kentucky, to Marcum C. Cox and Louise (Arnett) Cox. Forrest's parents were tenant farmers who settled in Jessamine County in 1946. In 1948, Forrest graduated from Wilmore High School in Wilmore, Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky two years before enlisting in the United States Air Force on Aug. 31, 1951.
Forrest was assigned to Altus Air Force Base in November 1953 and arrived in Altus in January 1954. Forrest worked in 96th Air Refueling Squadron. He and his outstanding crew were selected to fly the new KC-135 and entered training at Castle AFB, CA in March 1958.
While stationed at Altus, Forrest met Patsy McLeod, secretary in 96th Bomb Wing Command Section. They married on April 20, 1963 at Altus First United Methodist Church. They had three children: Voyt "Skipper" William Cox, Teresa "Terri" (Cox) Redding, and Mark Patrick Cox.
Forrest was assigned to Chatteauroux Air Base, France, and Mildenhall Air Base, England, from 1965 to 1968, while he was flying for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Airborne Command Post. In 1968-1969, Forrest piloted B-57s out of Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam and was later reassigned to fly as a part of the Airborne Command Post from Udorn Air Base, Thailand, until March 1970. Forrest earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medals while flying B-57s in combat. He returned to Altus Air Force Base in March 1970 to fly KC-135s and retired Aug. 31, 1971.
Forrest Cox entered a partnership with two other retired military officers to buy Altus Laundry and Cleaners. He later bought out his partners and owned and operated the Laundry until 1999 when his daughter Terri and son-in-law Jim Redding took over the business.
Forrest served two terms as president of the Oklahoma Drycleaners Association. He was a member of the Southwest Drycleaners Board of Directors for several years, the International Fabricare Institute from 1971 until 1999, and the Altus Chamber of Commerce, and served one term on the chamber board of directors. Forrest was on the Metropolitan Planning Commission for about 10 years and was appointed to the Airport Advisory Board. He belongs to the First United Methodist Church and served as a member and chairman of the Pastor Parrish Relations Committee and a member and chairman of the administrative board. He has belonged to the Altus Military Affairs Committee since 1971 and has been a member of Altus Rotary Club since 1971, serving as president in 1975-76. He chaired Youth Exchange for about 25 years. Forrest was presented the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying by the FAA at Altus Quartz Mountain Regional in August 2012.
Forrest was preceded in death by parents, Louise and Marcum C. Cox; brothers, Marcum Jr., Ronald and Linville; and son, Skip.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patsy; daughter, Terri and husband Jim Redding; son, Mark and wife Missey Cox; grandchildren, Whitney and husband J.T. Messick, Tyler and wife Amanda Redding, Austin and Emily Cox; great-grandchildren, Addisyn, Camdyn, and Cooper Messick; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers the family request that memorials be made to Jackson County Memorial Hospital Hospice, FUMC Altus, and Rotary International.
The family will greet friends at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home today from 6-7 p.m. Online tributes may be made to the family at www.Lowell-Tims.com