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Cecil Lee Cox, 80, passed away unexpectedly at home on 13 February. Cecil was the third of four children born to Arnold and Jeane (Palowsky) Cox in Colorado Springs, CO. He was raised in Hawthorne, NV, played sports, and graduated from Mineral County High School before enlisting in the US Air Force in 1952. Lee served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He enjoyed golf and was on the AF golf team. He also liked to hunt deer and play handball. He held AF positions as a postal inspector in the Orient, avionic communication/navigation system superintendent for SAC bases stateside, and hospital administration superintendent at Ellsworth AFB, SD, before retiring at the rank of SMSgt. During his 25 year AF career, Lee was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Korean Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship, USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon, AF Longivity Service Award Ribbon with first oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, United Nations Korean War Medal, National Defense Service Medal with star, AF Good Conduct Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal with 4 Bronze joined knots/loops, AF Outstanding Unit Award with first oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, AF Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with first oak leaf cluster, and Bronze Star Medal with first oak leaf cluster.
After AF retirement, Lee promptly enrolled in nursing school and graduated from Mount Mercy Community College in Sioux City, IA. He began his registered nursing career in San Antonio, TX, working in critical care, surgical intensive care unit, and emergency room at Bexar County Hospital and Humana. After 15 years, he retired to further devote time to his lifelong learning of history and politics, novel reading, and travel. Always having a joke for every one and all situations, his lighthearted contagious happiness and untiring kindness to all brightened many a heart.
Lee is survived by his wife of 28 years USAF Ret Col Nancy B. Bjerke, his brother James (Jimmie) A. Cox and wife Sonie of Reno, NV; brothers-in-laws Ray Peterson of Fallon, NV, USMC Ret Major Thomas E. Bjerke (Nancy) of Alexandria, VA, Larry P. Bjerke (Kris) of Ripon, CA, Robert O. Bjerke (Colleen) of Austin, TX, and Paul J. Bjerke (Cheryl) of Lakewood, CO, and sister-in-law Diane M. Bjerke of Fillmore, CA, several nieces, nephews, and grand/great grand nieces and nephews. Lee is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Lorraine Peterson, and brother Arnold Cox.
Visitation at Castle Ridge Mortuary 8008 Military Drive West San Antonio, TX, will be 6:30 pm followed by the rosary at 7pm on 27 February. Funeral Mass is at 10:30 am St. Luke's Catholic Church 4603 Manitou before burial with Full Military Honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 12 noon. In lieu of flowers, prayers, masses, donations for masses, or donors' charity are preferred.
Castle Ridge Mortuary
8008 Military Dr. W
San Antonio, TX 78227
Published in Express-News on Feb. 24, 2013