Joseph C. CoxJoseph C. Cox, age 96 and formerly of Fowlerville, Michigan, died peacefully on Sept. 27, 2016 in Grand Prairie, Texas. He was a longtime attorney in Fowlerville.
He is survived by his 9 children: Judith A. Cloud of Burley, Idaho; Susan M. Lini (Ken) of Windsor, Colorado; Katharine J. Keitel (William) of La Quinta, California; Joseph K. Cox of Grand Rapids, Michigan; James R. Cox (Penny) of Louisville, Kentucky; Thomas P. Cox (Ruth) of San Francisco, California; John C. Cox (Hope) of Fowlerville, Michigan; Stephen J. Cox (Jeannie) of Grand Prairie, Texas; and William M. Cox (Toby) of Bethesda, Maryland. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife: Helen Marie King; sisters: Katherine Loebner and Martha Weber; granddaughter: Deborah Lini; and grandson: Joseph T. Cox.
Joe was born in East Lansing, Michigan on May 29, 1920 where his father was a Professor of Agriculture at the then Michigan Agriculture College (MAC), now Michigan State University. The family moved to Washington, D.C. where he graduated from Central High School and attended The Ohio State University. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Agriculture, just prior to enlisting in the United States Army in July 1942.
Following his enlistment, Joe graduated from Officer Candidate School as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 71st Evacuation Hospital. In December 1943, as a First Lieutenant and Detachment Commander, he was sent to the South West Pacific Theatre where he served with honors having participated in the New Guinea and Philippine Campaigns, including the amphibious operations at Noemfoor Island, Lingayen Gulf, and Legaspi, and the Army of Occupation in Japan. He was promoted to Captain in April 1945 and awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service. He returned to service in the Philippine Islands from October 1947 until July 1950 where he participated in Operation Rollup, disbanding the Philippine Scouts. He was honorably discharged from the United States Army Reserves in 1955 with the rank of Major.
Following his military service, Joe returned to Michigan with his wife and three daughters and, in May 1954, graduated with an LLB from The University of Detroit Law School. He had the distinction of completing law school with the largest family of 6 children.
In October 1956, Joe purchased the law practice of retiring attorney J.B. Munsell in Fowlerville where he practiced law for over 50 years. During his lengthy legal career, he was a loyal counselor, advocate and generous friend to many people, ever willing to help those in trouble, regardless of the circumstances. He served as an attorney for the Villages of Fowlerville and Webberville and several area townships and as Justice of the Peace for Handy Township. He also
served as the President of the Livingston County Bar Association, and as a member of the Michigan State Bar Grievance Panel and Representative Assembly. He was an active member of the Livingston County Republican Party, proudly serving as an Alternate Delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention and participating in numerous local, state, and national political campaigns and as a candidate for United State Congress in 1992.
Other public service of note by Joe included serving as a governor’s appointee on the Michigan Age of Majority Commission and on the Quality Assurance Commission of the Michigan Department of Workers Compensation. He was active in several local civic and charitable groups and served on the Village of Fowlerville Planning Commission.
He is remembered as a friend to all and a second Dad to many. He especially enjoyed sharing with his family and others about his Army service, fishing, camping, and pheasant hunting with his children, reading, and gardening. He loved the Detroit Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes and was a walking encyclopedia of history, sports, military battles and more, and prided himself as a “smooth” dancer.
Joe moved to Texas in 2008 where he was an active and well-liked resident of the Brookdale Community in Grand Prairie until just a few weeks before his death. After a short stay in a nearby nursing home, like an Old Soldier as he used to say, “…he just faded away.”
He will be interred with his late wife in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fowlerville in a family service. The family invites all, especially those in the Fowlerville area, to share in his memory and celebrate his life at an open house at 12 noon on Saturday, October 15, at the Fowlerville VFW Hall. If desired, contributions can be made in his name to the American Cancer Society or the Fowlerville District Library.