Dr. J. Grady Cox
1926 - 2021
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A memorial service of celebration and remembrance for J. Grady Cox will be held Wednesday, May 19 at 2:00PM at Auburn United Methodist Church, Auburn, Alabama. Visitation will be at 1:00PM at Hamil Court at AUMC. The Rev. Dr. Cory Smith will officiate with the Rev. Charles Cummings assisting. Dr. Cox, who passed away on May 15, was born on December 6, 1926 in Ayden, North Carolina. He was predeceased by his devoted wife of 70 years, Jean Claire Ransom Cox; parents, Annie and George D. Cox; brothers, Dr. George E. Cox, William B. Cox and Ronald Cox; and sister, Margaret Cox Crawford. Grady was a member of Auburn United Methodist Church and had served on the Administrative Council and the Finance Committee. He was an active member of the Babe McGehee-Fred Lacy Sunday School class, where he looked forward to the lessons, fellowship, and conversations each and every week. He was an avid bridge player. He and Jean were accomplished players and a tough team to beat. After Jean's death, he continued to play bridge as often as three times a week. Grady was a member of the Auburn Rotary Club from 1976-2011, and was a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. While living in other cities he was a member of Civitan Club and Kiwanis Club. After graduating from A.G. Cox High school in Winterville, NC at age 16, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina. He attended two quarters, joined the U.S. Navy on August 17, 1944 and received basic training at Bainbridge, Maryland. He was then assigned as a hospital corpsman at the Sampson Naval Training Station on Lake Seneca in New York. One year later he was selected for NROTC and was given a choice of colleges he could attend. After reviewing the options, he chose Alabama Polytechnic Institute and became a member of API's first Naval ROTC unit, maintaining his fulltime Navy status. At API, he met Jean, in 1945, in the Kappa Delta sorority chapter room. Jean was playing the piano for a party that KD was hosting for male military students on campus. They married five months later. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on June 6, 1946. In March, 1948, Grady graduated from API with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and, after a year in private sector employment, he pursued graduate work in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics, receiving an M.S. in Mathematics in 1950(while also being employed as an instructor in Mathematics), also from APL He completed course work and preliminary examinations for a PhD in Mathematics at UNC from 1953-1955. Grady took a leave of absence from Auburn University and attended Purdue University to work on his Ph.D. from June, 1962 through September, 1963, under the auspices of a National Science Foundation fellowship. He received his Ph.D. in 1963 and was subsequently appointed as Head Professor of the Department of Industrial Management at Auburn, from which he developed Industrial Engineering. Grady was also a graduate of specialize d courses in Nuclear Engineering and Quality Control. He served Auburn University in a number of capacities, including Director of the Engineering Experiment Station, Director of Engineering Extension Service, Dean of the College of Engineering and Executive Vice President. He retired as a full professor from Auburn in 1992. He participated in several research projects of the School of Engineering, taught numerous Engineering Extension short courses, but Grady loved to teach, and considered teaching his many students his most gratifying professional endeavor. Grady was an accomplished government and private industry consultant. His government clients included the U.S. Air Force at Vandenberg AFB, California, a Ramstein AFB, West Germany and Gunter AFB, Alabama; the Advanced Research Projects Agency in Washington, D.C. and Redstone Arsenal. His private clients included U.S. Pipe and Foundry; Jefferson Smurfit (now Smurfit Kappa); and Georgia Marble. He also served as a member of the State of Alabama Air Pollution Control Commission. Grady was a member of both the Alabama and National Society of Professional Engineers, as well as many other professional associations, and was a member of numerous academic honor societies including Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi. He received Purdue University's Outstanding Engineer Award in 1971, and Outstanding Alumnus Award, in 1987, from Auburn University's Department of Chemical Engineering. He was voted Outstanding Teacher (Engineering) at Auburn on several occasions. He was a man of high integrity, fairness, and inspired his family with his perseverance and faith to find joy in difficult times. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his daughter Jani Jones (George); his son Keith (Kay); grandson Dr. Brad Jones; granddaughter Claire Smith (Bogue); step grandchildren Elizabeth Brown (Jim) and Brennan Moss (Erin); and 4 great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Auburn UMC Mercy Fund or the charity of your choice. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home is directing.

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Published in The Birmingham News from May 17 to May 19, 2021.
01:00 PM
Hamil Court at AUMC
02:00 PM
Auburn United Methodist Church
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3 entries
May 20, 2021
I have often said that Dr. Grady Cox was, by far, the best classroom instructor I had. He made even Thermodynamics easily learnable. I am blessed to have known him. He was certainly a great asset to Auburn University.
Dan Braswell
May 18, 2021
I had Dr. Cox for slide rule as a freshman and Thermodynamics as a Soph. He was absolutely one of my favorite teachers. I went to API from 1956 until 1960 when I graduated from Auburn University as the first graduating class from Auburn University. Dr. Cox was a continual encouragement to me. A great teacher friend.
Mack Ferguson
May 18, 2021
My thoughts and prayers are with the Cox family and friends in this time of sorrow. May the peace of God comfort and strengthen you during this difficult time
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