James  L. 'Jimmy'  Cox


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Cox remembered most as a teacher

His insight, humor certainly one of a kind.

The word unique requires no quantifier. Unique means a person or thing is one of a kind.

All humans, in that sense, are unique. No person is like another. However, let it be said that Jim Cox was “uniquer” than most.

The man had no peer when it came to a humorous approach to life, which he lived to the fullest. His fertile brain could conjure up in a second or two something hilarious on any subject at hand. He will be fondly remembered by his friends for that. “A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine.”

In addition, he was a person of myriad talents. His high school teaching career in three fields attests to that.

Cox graduated from his beloved Grove High School and attended Murray State University two years before serving in the Navy.

After marriage to his high school sweetheart, Emily Daniel, he promptly continued his education and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and 45 hours toward a doctorate. During his college years, he exhibited his considerable talent as a musician in the classic MSU productions of “Campus Lights.”

In later years, he contributed to his community in various ways, not the least of which was a carefully researched and meticulous history of First Baptist Church from its founding in 1833.

He was an articulate poet and noted genealogist. His photography skills were legendary and he once owned a photo studio.

While the litany of accomplishments by Jim Cox is impressive and significant, it will be from his school teaching career that his greatest legacy will ensue. Anyone who has a profound influence on the next generation leaves the most indelible footprints on the sands of time.

He first taught English at Grove High School, then moved on out to Henry County High School to teach history, then photography.

Cox continually worked outside the box in his teaching regimen. No dry lecturer, he kept students’ interest honed with a classroom regimen that included off-the-wall humor and approaches that moved his subject into the vernacular of his kids. They responded with unabashed admiration and, not the least, attention.

Numbers of his students have gone on to teaching careers themselves, inspired by his model. Generations yet to come will reap the benefits to this community, and particularly its school system, from Jim Cox’s contributions.

May 20, 2009



Cox, truly wonderful character

To the editor:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of one of Henry County’s truly wonderful characters, Mr. James Cox.

I took photography with him from 1985 to 1987 at Henry County High School, and I have never forgotten my time with him.

He was one the warmest, most compassionate individuals I have ever met, and his influence gave a then-wayward teen much-needed guidance and understanding.

Though I learned a great deal about photography in his classes, it was his example — his humor, his discipline, his concern and his encouragement — that has taught me the most.

A once-laughable notion, teaching, is now my blessed career, and I am at once delighted and humbled to think that those hours with Mr. Cox are part of who I am everyday.

The sadness I have for his passing is far outshone by those moments I had in his classroom.
Thank you, Mr. Cox.


Jay Crouch

May 20, 2009


Nobody more fun than Coxes

To the editor:

One of the highlights of our annual trip to Paris was going out for a catfish dinner with Jim and Emily Cox. I seemed to laugh more in his presence, during one meal, than any other time during the year.

Once, when they visited us in New Jersey, we spent some time in Lancaster, Penn., visiting Amish farms, eating Amish food and admiring Amish quilts.

On another visit, we drove along the Jersey shore taking photographs of lighthouses and feasting on fried lobster tails. Nobody was more fun to be with than the Coxes, and I always learned a thing or two about photography from the master.

Jim and I were at Murray State University together, and we belonged to the same fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha. For years, he has been one of my best friends, and I will greatly miss him.

My wife and I, along with his multitude of friends and former students, were blessed to have him with us. He was a great, wonderful man! God bless him and Emily, two of the most loving, caring people I’ve ever known!

Joe Routon Jr.

Haddonfield, N.J. 08033

June 8, 2009





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The Paris Post-Intelligencer
Paris, Tennessee