Neal L. Cox
1948 - 2020
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Neal Cox
Ephraim, Utah
Neal LaVaun Cox, 72, passed away peacefully on August 2, 2020 at sunrise on his beloved Sabbath day. He was born in Manti, Utah on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1948, the oldest child of R. LaVaun and Shirley Sudweeks Cox. He married his love and eternal companion Carol Lynn Martin on September 2, 1971 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Neal valued people and dedicated his life as a builder of men and women. He had a big smile and full-bodied laugh that he freely shared with everyone and was forever the champion of the underdog. To every man and woman is given a gift, and one of Neal's gifts was seeing others clearly and giving them the confidence they needed to understand their true potential. Without fail, he made individuals feel valued with specific, genuine praise. Neal always believed that you were meant for important things in this life, and his passing has not changed that belief. Above all else, Neal knew that there is a God in heaven who loves all of His children and has provided a Savior who gives us purpose and hope in this life.
Neal loved all people and cultures and took seriously the charge to go forth and teach all nations. As a young man, he served in the Northern Far East mission in Japan where he treasured the people and culture of Japan and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Carol later served as mission presidents in the Illinois Chicago Mission from 1995 to 1998 where they loved and cherished the people of Chicago and the many missionaries who they came to love as their own.
Neal always planted deep roots wherever he lived and encouraged others to do the same. He taught seminary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Murray and Woods Cross, Utah, Montpelier, Idaho, and Cokeville, Wyoming. He and his young family moved to Western Samoa in 1978 where he taught at the LDS Church College in Pesega.
Neal later returned to his native Sanpete County to work at Snow College where he served as Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Life. He would later serve as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Southern Utah University and Associate Dean of Students at Brigham Young University. He loved students and dedicated his life to serving them. Much of his work was conducted out and about on campus, face to face, and very seldom behind a desk. In retirement, he continued his lifelong work serving and building young men and women as a sealer in the Manti Temple. Neal was a man without guile who did not weary in well-doing. He was someone who could be counted on at all times and was a never-deviating friend to all. He will be missed.
Neal is survived by his wife, Carol; six children: Curtis (Carrie) Cox, Payson; Crystal (Dale) Howe, Providence; Chad (Abbi) Cox, Alpine; Nate (Michelle) Cox, Fruit Heights; Jon (Ellie) Cox, Holladay; Caytee (Preston) Wankier, Hurricane; mother, Shirley Sudweeks Cox, Centerville; siblings: Brenda (Alan) Bailey, Fountain Green; Doug (Emilie) Cox, Mountain Green; Karen (Mike) Duke, Centerville. His posterity also includes 20 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Neal LaVaun Cox Legacy Scholarship Memorial Fund at Snow College.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in the Ephraim Park Cemetery, 650 North Main. Those who attend are asked to bring a lawn chair to the cemetery to enjoy the outdoor funeral proceedings. Friends may call Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. in the Ephraim 5th Ward, 765 South 100 East. Live streaming of the services and online guestbook can be found at under Neal's obituary. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.

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Published in Deseret News on Aug. 5, 2020.
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6 entries
August 13, 2020
Dear Carol,
I was shocked to learn today of Neal’s passing. (Aug. 13th). Neal was a great friend growing up. He will be missed.
Sincerely, Steve and Betty Dyreng
Steve Dyreng
August 8, 2020
Sometimes in honor of the deceased, we pay tributes that are somewhat of a stretch, but well-intended, because no person is perfect and their best should be remembered. But in the case of Neal Cox no tribute could measure up to the kind of man he really was. The esteem we have for him is beyond expression. He is fully a friend, an advocate, an example, a Saint. He has lived a life dedicated to his family and the Lord. His happiness, love, and genuine goodness will always be in our memory of him. We feel so blessed to be able to be one of his friends. May the family always cherish the legacy he earned. With love, Lynne and Lanette Pettit.
Lynne and Lanette Pettit
August 5, 2020
What an amazing man. I was taught many things as a young missionary setting under President Cox. I was truly taught many things by this spiritual giant but one that really stinks out to me, he taught by example what unconditional love looked like. Thank you President Cox and my thoughts and prayers are with sister Cox and her family.
Justin Turcsanski
August 5, 2020
Neals dad Vaun Cox and my dad Thorpe Waddingham served together in the Utah Senate in 1959-1960 representing Sanpete county. Our interaction was very brief. Our parents stayed together at the old Temple Square Hotel. My folks brought me and my sisters for a few days during the session. Neal and his sister Brenda were there. As I recall we spent alot of the time riding the elevators up and down! That was at a time when they actually had elevator operators! I remember Neal and I going bowling at the old Temple Lanes about 3 or 4 blocks east of the hotel. They actually had human pinsetters! It's been sixty years but the memory is sharp. I am so sorry for your loss. Please say hello to your mom. Shirley and my mom were good friends.
Brent M Waddingham
August 5, 2020
Carol, I’m saddened by the passing of your sweetheart. May your heart be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived, and in knowing that though unseen, he is not far away.
With love and condolences,
Linda (Stocks) Kennan
Linda Kennan
August 5, 2020
Like a bird cast out
Stunned at its own falling, then...
Startled by its wings
Don Marsh
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