Gilbert Gary Cox

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Service Information
Thornhill Valley Chapel
1400 South Pines Road
Spokane Valley, WA

COX, Staff Sergeant Gilbert Gary,
USMC, Retired
(Age 73)

Succumbed to his disabilities stemming from his service in Vietnam. Gilbert died on May 9th 2011, at his home, in Spokane Valley, Washington. Gilbert was born on January 30, 1938 in Lanigan, Saskatchewan, Canada, the son of Gilbert and Louise Cox. Gilbert moved with his family to Spokane, Washington where he later attended Central Valley High School. At the age of 17, Gilbert joined the United States Marine Corps on February 1, 1955.
From 1955 through 1959, Gilbert served in a variety of assignments with the Marine Corps and upon reenlistment in 1959, Gilbert became schooled as an Engineering Equipment Operator. From 1959 through 1965 he served with Headquarters Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, (-) Reinforce; 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force Camp Pendleton, California; Headquarters and Service Company, Camp S.D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan; and, 1st Landing Support Company, 1st Service Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), Fleet Marine Force.
In August 1965, Gilbert was sent to Vietnam. He participated in the site preparation, including runways, for Marines deploying to the Dong Ha and Quang Tri province. While serving with Support Company, 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Gilbert was awarded the Purple Heart.
In 1966, Gilbert entered Senior Drill Instructor School at Parris Island, South Carolina. Unfortunately, while participating in a hand-to-hand combat exercise, he was re-injured and dropped from classes and was assigned as a Career Advisor at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
In September 1967, Gilbert volunteered to return to the Republic of Vietnam where he served in the vicinity of Danang with "B" Company, 7th Engineer Battalion (Rein), Fleet Marine Force. In March 1968, Gilbert became seriously ill and was medically evacuated to Yokosuka, Japan. He served honorably for over 12 years in the Marine Corps.
During his service, Gilbert's decorations, medals, badges, commendations and campaign ribbons included: Good Conduct Medal (3rd award); National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal (w/3 stars); Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (w/device); Presidental Unit Citation; Purple Heart; Pistol Marksman Badge; and, Rifle Marksman Badge.
Following his retirement, Gilbert returned to Spokane, Washington. He was a partner in the TC&M Lumber Company on Trent, owner of the Sunset Inn in Airway Heights, and lastly owner and operator of the Gil's Luggage Repair Shop in Spokane.
Gilbert, with his wife, Shelia was actively involved in Marine Corps and Veteran organizations in the Spokane, Washington area. He was a life member of the DAV #6 and VFW Post #1435 and lifetime member of the Military Order of the Cooties, Pup Tent Unit 23. As a Cootie he served as the Seam Squirrel from 1986-87, and 1991-92, and as Grand Commander from 1989-90. As a Cootie he performed duties as a Chaplain and tirelessly supported the Cootie's Hospital Visitation Program.
He is survived by his mother, Louise Fulbright of Spokane Valley, son, Blake Henning (Evgenia) of Houston, Texas; and six sisters, Maxine Polich and Marlene Reagan (Vern) of Spokane Valley, Maureen Moehle (Ernie) of Dallas, Texas, Marilyn Henderson (Don) of Spokane, Col. Adelaide Quebodeaux, USMC, Ret (Red) of Murphy, Texas, and Tracey Schultz (Ron) of Albany, Oregon; and several nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Kristie Pangburn for her friendship and Hospice of Spokane for their care and comfort during this time.
He was preceded in death by his spouse, Shelia Cox, and father, Gilbert Cox.
Internment will be on Wednesday, May 18th at 10:00AM at the Veteran's Memorial located at Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, WA 99206.
The family suggests donations in lieu of flowers to the Spokane Guilds' School & Neuromuscular Center, 2118 W. Garland, Spokane, Washington or to the Spokane Humane Society, 6607 N. Havana St., Spokane, Washington.
Although he is truly missed, we are comforted knowing that Gilbert is with other Marines standing guard on Heaven's streets.


Published in Spokesman-Review from May 15 to May 16, 2011
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Funeral Home Details
Spokane Valley, WA   (509) 924-2211
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