John A. Cox
John A. Cox
  • January 7, 1922 - August 25, 2015
  • North Carolina

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John A. Cox, Jr., 93, longtime resident of Greensboro, passed away on August 25, 2015 in his beloved Ashe County. Dad lost a long battle with Dementia but passed peacefully.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm on August 29, 2015 at Gilmore Memorial Park in Julian, NC. Family will receive friends tonight from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Hanes-Lineberry Vanstory Chapel in Greensboro.
John started life on January 7, 1922 as one of eleven children born to John A. Cox, Sr. and Ethel Osborne Cox. He grew up in Todd, NC as a son of a storekeeper in a lumber/railroad town. A rambunctious stump jumper by nature, Dad hoboed trains from the age of five until around the age of twenty. He came back from Idaho after the 1940 flood and had the great fortune to meet the love of his life, Edith A. Hicks.
Marriage and the start of World War II brought John & Edie to Baltimore, where he worked as a sheet metal worker in a shipyard and also managed to start a family with the birth of their eldest daughter, Kirby. The realities of the time and imminent draft into the Army led dad to enlist in the United States Marine Corp Reserves. That turned into honorable service in the South Pacific as a PFC in 1st Division. After his military service, Dad took advantage of the GI Bill to receive his degree from Appalachian State Teachers College, now known as Appalachian State University. By the time he finished his degree two other daughters had joined the family.
John received his degree and spent time as a teacher in Todd, Westfield, and Lowgap, which is where he started his first Principal position in 1953. A bigger opportunity in Summerfield, NC gained him the Principal position in 1958. In 1962 he was offered the position of Principal at the brand new Southeast Guilford High School and that is where he served until he retired in 1980.
This father of five had taught and guided several thousand children as well as his own through the final years of their public school education. Most would agree that he was a positive influence on their lives. His children thank him for all of his patience, wisdom, and love bestowed on us.
After his retirement, Dad continued to exercise his gift of never having met a stranger. Fact is, lots of people knew him from his career and his outside activities including being an active member of many social orders, such as The Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 362, The American Legion, VFW, Scottish Rite Mason Oasis Temple (32nd Degree). In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Edith Hicks Cox; and all but two of his siblings.
Those left to cherish his memory include his daughters, Kirby Doolittle, Sherry Thornburg and husband Dennis, Rejean Young and husband Harold, and Emily Caroline Cox; son, John B. Cox and wife Mary Jane; grandchildren, Carrington Pertalian and husband John, Christopher Doolittle and wife Nanette, Daniel Doolittle, Benjamin Thornburg and wife Somer, Quentin Tate and wife Amanda, John Paul Cox and wife Britney, and Sherry Shelton; great-grandchildren, Hannah Pertalion, John Roger Cox, Amelia Cox, Evan Cox, and James Heninger; brother, Wade Cox; sister, Marilyn Jackson; and several nieces and nephews.
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