Lifetime Sweetwater resident and prominent business and civic leader Ronnie Lyman Cox died unexpectedly Tuesday, July 19.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, Sweetwater Friday, July 22, at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be at the McCoy Funeral Home, Sweetwater, on Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 6-7 p.m.
Cox, born March 13, 1943, took over Operation of Cox Jewelers in 1965 after receiving a B.A degree in economics from Rice University, Houston, Tx. He won the highest honor given by the American Gem Society, the Robert M. Shipley Award, in 2011. Ronnie won the award based on his expertise and commitment to his community, personal business, the jewelry industry and his participation in local civic groups, service organizations and industry charity boards. He sat on the Board of Directors of the First Financial Bank of Sweetwater, the First Financial Trust & Asset Management Company, Abilene, Tx, the First National Bank of Sweetwater, and the Nolan County Foundation Board. Since 1965, when he took over the business from his father, Cox was at the helm of Cox Jewelers through its 11th anniversary in 2011. After retirement in 2012, he took ownership and management of the Perry Ranch at Gannon, TX.
He is survived by his wife Sally, daughter Lisa Cox Sanders and her husband Todd Sanders of Abilene, son Jason Cox of Sweetwater, and two grandsons Brandon and Chase Sanders of Abilene, nephew J.R. Cox IV and nieces Lesley Belk and Elise Greiger all of Austin, TX.
Cox's grandfather, John R, Cox, Sr. came to Texas from Tennessee 1886. After a stop in Paris, Tx., he settled in Sweetwater in 1889 and founded Cox Jewelers in 1895. His son John R. Cox, Jr, father of Ronnie Lyman Cox, was born in 1904 and ran the business from 1925 to 1965. The business has been on the Sweetwater square since its beginning, although it has been moved several times. The first location opened September 15, 1995 on the north side of the square with a few show cases in a furniture store. It was soon moved to the west side of the square and shared a building with Starr Drug Store. From there, Cox Jewelers moved to a space in the Levy in the Levy Building. The final location on the south side of the square was purchased by John Jr. 1935.
Among his achievements was Outstanding Young Man 1977, Past President of the Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the boards of the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital Board, Sweetwater Industrial Foundation, Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Foundation. He served as member of the international Board of the American Gem Society, and a member of the Board American Gem Society Laboratory, Las Vegas, Nev.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents, Hazel Cox in 1995 and John R. Cox, Jr in 1993; and a brother John R. Cox III in 2013.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Heart Association
or The American Cancer Society
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mccoyfh.com.
Published by Sweetwater Reporter from Jul. 21 to Jul. 22, 2016.