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Rodney Cox

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Col. (Retired) Rodney Cox, Ph.D. Col. (Retired) Rodney Cox, Ph.D., was born August 25, 1936, and proceeded to raise heck all over Silver Spring, MD and Washington, D.C. for the next 22 years. His parents were Rodney and Virginia Cox of Silver Spring. He said he "ran hard" in high school, captained the Montgomery Blair soccer team and claimed to star in every theatre department production even when he had only one line. He wasn't the smartest kid in school but smart enough to figure out serving as head of the welcoming committee positioned him to get first crack at the pretty new girls. Rodney's college soccer career lasted three years but ended with some other guy's broken leg. He was president of the University of Maryland theatre group, which worked out well when he met Joyce Faye Dalton at the cast party for Blithe Spirit. Joyce Faye and Rodney were married for 49 years. He was broke in college, so when a ROTC recruiter promised him $100 a month, Rodney signed on. That led to 30 years in the Air Force during which he earned a Ph.D. and the rank of Colonel. He flew in the RB-66, the B-57B, and then flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam in an F4 Phantom. Col. Cox earned the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and 11 Air Medals for gallantry in action. He said flying was the most fun he had in his career, but he knew his legacy would be helping to shape the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), which gives college credit for the skills noncommissioned officers acquire while defending our country. To date, CCAF has awarded more than 335,000 degrees. Col. Cox also served as Chief of Security Police in Europe during the Cold War. He was then president of CCAF, and after "retirement" in 1988, he went on to be president of Butler County Community College in Kansas and vice president of Troy State University in Alabama. There, he oversaw branch campus expansion around the world. Joyce Faye and Rodney retired to Sun City, Georgetown, in 2001 and got to work traveling and loving up their grandkids. They took multiple mission trips to Mali, West Africa and the lower east side of New York City. Rodney visited Antarctica in 2008 the only continent he had not yet explored. Here are family who will miss him terribly: wife Joyce Faye; daughters Lucinda Valenti, Melanie Fish and Tara Cox; his sons-in-law; his 7 grandchildren; sister Carolyn Talley and her family; foster daughters Neesha and Keesha Johnson; and Dottie Jackson. Hail to the Redskins. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Georgetown on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Col. Cox's ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cure PSP ( or to First Baptist Church, Missions (1333 W. University Avenue, Georgetown, TX 78628). Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

Cook Walden Davis - Funerals & Cremations

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 31, 2010
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