WILLIAM ROY COX, SR.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants,” Psalm 116:15

William Roy Cox, Sr., entered this life August 7, 1920. He entered the presence of his Lord November 27, 2017.

William Roy (“Bill”) Cox was born August 7, 1920 to Susie Fagley Cox and Edward Roy Cox, at his family home in Tyrone, PA. After graduating from Tyrone High School, Bill attended Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, where he considered it a privilege to work during his college years to pay for his education. At F&M, he became the Vice President of his Senior Class, VP of Sigma Pi Fraternity, and President of the Future Teachers of America. After earning his degree in English with a minor in Education, he immediately boarded a train to Philadelphia to enter WWII and sign up for flight training at the Navy headquarters. As he was waiting for his training to begin, he returned to Tyrone to complete his student teaching. It was during this time that his college fraternity invited him back for Homecoming weekend, including an inter-fraternity ball, the football game, and a dance. His “blind date” for this weekend was June Mellinger, who recalled her date with Bill as “love at first sight.”

As it turned out, Bill’s Naval training was to begin at Franklin & Marshall College, and June, who was a dietician at Philadelphia General Hospital, was able to come home to Lancaster on weekends. June and Bill corresponded, as Bill’s flight training took him to Athens, GA and Norman, OK. They decided if the Navy sent him overseas after he was commissioned, they would wait to be married. As soon as he received his orders to report to Corpus Christi, he got on the phone to call his sweetheart. The connection was bad, and he had to shout to be heard. He proposed over the phone, as his fellow cadets enjoyed the moment, coaching him on what to say, and cheered when she said “Yes!” After their wedding on January 8, 1944, their honeymoon was a train ride from Lancaster, PA, to Corpus Christi, Texas, where Ensign Cox was stationed as instructor in the Naval Air Corps. When the war ended, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station in Dallas, where he flew all over north Texas and south Oklahoma picking up inactive duty Naval aviators, tested their piloting skills, then returned them home two days later.

While in Dallas, Bill got his MBA at SMU with a major in Public Administration and a minor in Labor Economics, while serving in the Naval Reserve. He then was employed by Chance Vought Aircraft Division of United Aircraft as an interviewer in Employment.

Deciding to move back north to be closer to their “Yankee kinfolk”, June and Bill and their young family settled in Westfield, NJ. Bill was employed by Sylvania Electric in New York City as Corporate Training Director. He later became Director of Personnel at Dairylea, also headquartered in NYC, where he commuted from NJ and worked for 23 years.

From NJ he and June moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he was employed at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church as consultant, Personnel Director, Business Manager, and later for Evangelism Explosion, International, as Director of Foundations Relations. This position allowed them to travel to Europe and across America, sharing their love for Jesus. He also worked in real-estate for a while before “retiring.”

Bill enjoyed sketching for many years. He began by trying to repair a picture of June’s family home in Williamsport PA. From there, he began drawing the homes of all his family members, and then sketched some restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. Over the years, he began a tradition of hand-sketching birthday and anniversary cards for everyone in his family, and in October of every year, he would begin his Christmas cards, each one individually sketched, mailing over a hundred to family and friends. Each card expressed his love for his God, and the joy that can only come from knowing Christ as your Lord.

Bill also wrote and illustrated two children’s books, which were printed for his great- grandchildren. His intent in all he did was to glorify the Lord, and to point others to God’s Word. As he wrote in the preface of one of his children’s books, “Walk ye in Him” (Col.2:6) “and lift His name high!”

Worshipping God every Sunday morning was most special to him. He was always sporting a coat and tie, dressing his best, to honor his Lord. Even when the complications of diabetes caused his legs to be numb, with the help of a walker, he would be in church every Sunday. He also headed up the group at his church called “Keenagers,” and later the “SonShiners,” encouraging “older folks” to continue to serve the Lord with joy. He often wrote illustrated publications for these groups. He was a faithful member of the New Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

After the love of his life went Home to be with Jesus, Bill continued living in his home in Fort Lauderdale, mowing his lawn and trimming the bushes, and cleaning the pool, well into his 90’s. He would often travel to visit his family in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. Several years ago, as a WWII Veteran, he was privileged to make the Honor Flight to Washington, DC, with his pastor, Rev Jim Carter, as his guardian.

At the age of 96, he returned to the north, moving to Quarryville Retirement Community, in PA, where he lived up until the Lord brought him to his Heavenly Home.

Bill Cox’s life spanned almost a century of time. In all phases of his life: from childhood, through his college years, his service in the Navy, as a husband, a businessman, a valued friend, a loving father, grandfather, or great-grandfather, he always thought of others before himself. His life exemplified integrity, kindness, faithfulness, a joy and peace that only comes from “keeping your eyes on Jesus,” and a true love of his family and his Heavenly Father. The greatest gift you could give Bill was to tell him you were praying for him. And the very best gift you could ever receive from him were his faithful prayers. He and June considered it a privilege to pray daily for each member of their family and many of their friends, and friends of friends were added to their special list. We will never know this side of Heaven how many souls were won to the Lord because of their testimony and influence.

William Roy Cox was reunited with his sweetheart June (lovingly called “Boettsie” by her family), as he entered his Father’s House with great JOY and celebration.

He leaves behind a family whom he loved dearly, and who will greatly miss his presence, wisdom, and prayers in their lives:
Daughter Bonnie Lee Greer and her husband LeRoy of Wilmington, DE,, grandson CDR Christopher Greer, USN, of Waterford, CT and his wife Stacey, great-granddaughters Millie, and Hannah, great-grandson Simon; grandson, Timothy Greer of Centennial, CO; granddaughter Jennie Leigh Hardy and husband Skip, great-granddaughters Kaitlin, Sydney and great- grandson Derek; and grandson Joshua of Bronx, NY. Daughter Suzie Wells and her husband Jim of Sallisaw, OK, grandson Matthew Wells of Hyde Park, UT and his wife Jen, great- granddaughters Jadyn and Ella, great-grandson Wyatt; granddaughter Mandy Beth Niven of Jackson, TN and her husband David, great-grandsons Jacob and Zack and great- granddaughter Emma Beth; grandson Luke Wells of North Logan, UT and his wife Coby, great- grandson Walker, great-granddaughter Kinsley; and granddaughter Jordan Heersink, (who was born on his sixtieth birthday), her husband Nate of Crockett, TX, great-grandsons Wells and Logan; son William Roy Cox, Jr. of Hollywood, FL; daughter Donna Beth Schwab of Pompano Beach, FL, her husband LeRoy, grandson Jonathan Schwab of Fort Lauderdale,FL, and his wife Abbie, great-grandsons Luke and Elijah, great-granddaughter Ava; grandson Jeremy Schwab of Fort Lauderdale, FL; grandson Daniel Schwab of Pompano Beach, FL.

The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Psalm 16:6

Burial will be held Friday, December 8, 2017, at 10 am at Millersville Mennonite Cemetery, 435 Manor Ave, Millersville, PA 17551. A memorial service will follow at 11 am at The Ellingsworth Auditorium of Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Center, 625 Robert Fulton Hwy, Quarryville, PA 17566

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to EE at EvangelismExplosion.org.