Class of 1958
Lavern "Jimmy" Cox
|James Laverne Cox, 68, of Paris died May 15, 2009. He was born Aug. 26,
1940, in Cottage Grove to Mary Isabell Mustain Cox and Thomas Laverne Cox.
His childhood was shared with brother, George William Cox and sisters, Anita Belle Cox Peale and Tonya Louise Cox Landrum.
After graduating from Grove High School in 1958, Mr. Cox attended Murray State University for two years, before enlisting in the United States Navy. He served aboard the USS Brush as a sonar man and was honorably discharged.
On June 15, 1960, Mr. Cox married the love of his life, Emily Sue Daniel Cox.
Returning to college, Mr. Cox earned his bachelor’s degree from MSU, his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee-Martin and earned 45 hours above his master’s from the UT Martin and UT Knoxville.
While at MSU, Cox was vice president of Phi Mu Alpha fraternity, active in the “Campus Lights” productions and was a member of the MSU marching band that played “My Old Kentucky Home” at the 1959 Kentucky Derby.
Cox began his 30-plus year educational career teaching English at Grove High in 1969. He then moved to the newly-built Henry County High School to teach history and later photography.
In 1978, Mr. Cox realized a lifelong dream and opened Cox Studio, his own photography shop. Although owning and operating the shop was fulfilling, Cox missed teaching. He returned to the classroom in the fall of 1979 to teach photography. Several of his students have gone on to become teachers or professional photographers.
Mr. Cox served in the Tennessee National Guard for several years following his stint in the U.S. Navy.
Cox was past master of the Masonic Lodge, Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star and both a Scottish Rite and Templar Mason.
Cox was one of the teachers from Tennessee chosen to travel to England to study culture and economics and was selected to the prestigious Stokley Fellowship at UT Knoxville.
Always active in First Baptist Church, following his retirement from teaching, Cox worked as an office assistant there. He was a deacon, Sunday school teacher, van driver, choir member and was First Baptist Church’s historian.
His hobbies included photography, poetry writing, woodworking and genealogy and was well-known for his humor.
He also formerly worked at Ridgeway Funeral Home and The Paris Post-Intelligencer and taught history at UT Martin.
Cox is survived by his wife of 49 years, Emily Sue Daniel Cox; children, Eilizabeth Cox Grimstead and James Daniel “Dani” Cox; a grandson, Cameron Riley Warren Mitchell and his siblings, Amanda Nicole Mitchell and Benjamin Wesley Mitchell; a brother, George (Becky) Cox; sisters, Anita (Don) Peale and Tonya (Allen) Landrum; and several nieces and nephews.
His funeral service was scheduled at 3 p.m. today at First Baptist Church.
Jerry Massey, Carroll Owen, Trent Bullock, Larry Simmons and Lelan Daniel McReynolds were to officiate. Burial was to follow in Maplewood Cemetery.
Selected as pallbearers were Jimmy Williams, Bucky Purcell, Crockett Mathis, John Hinson, Mike Garner, Martin Paschall, Ted Nance and Lou Carter.
Honorary pallbearers were deacons of First Baptist Church.
Visitation was Sunday at Ridgeway Funeral Home and after 2 p.m. today at the church.
Because of Mrs. Cox’s allergy to flowers, the family requested in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Puerto Rico Deaf Ministries, David and Marsha Mitchell, Missionaries, P.O. Box 817, Paris, Tn. 38242-0817; or the Millington campus, Double “B” Boys Ranch, Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, 9224 Quito Road, Millington, Tn. 38053.
Reprinted from THE PARIS
May 18, 2009 Edition ~ Used by Permission
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