Gene Alton Cox, age 77, of Payne, Ohio passed into his creator’s hands Sunday June 10, 2018 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN.
He was born February 9, 1941 in Payne, OH to Eliene (Deerwester) and Otis Cox, who have preceded him in death.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 52 years, Sheryl Cox (Henshaw). Also missing him immensely are his children – daughter, Melissa (Douglas) Roop of Payne, son Douglas Gene Cox of Lebanon OH, and daughter Jennifer (Andrew) Swan of Indianapolis, IN. He also leaves behind his precious grandchildren, Zach (Jara) Roop of Granger Indiana, Jacob (Breanna), Nathanael, and Julianne Roop of Payne, Taylor, Austin, and Carter Cox of Lebanon, and Drew, Elora, Charlotte, and Liam Swan of Indianapolis, as well as one great-grandchild, Larkin Roop, of Granger.
Also surviving Gene are his brothers Kenneth (Sandra) Cox of Payne and Ross (Connie) Cox of Bryan.
Gene graduated from Payne High School in 1959. He then went to Bailey Technical Institute in St. Louis, MO where he graduated top of his class as a diesel mechanic. He and his parents owned and operated Cox’s Repair in Payne from 1965-1985, repairing cars, farm machinery, maintaining school buses, and servicing tires.
Gene was also a certified welder, and later went on to assembling and repairing medical devices. He was a member of the Payne Church of the Nazarene, and contributed to his community through service on the town council, fire department, and volunteering with the Boy Scouts.
From the time he was a young child, Gene amazed others with his natural and uncanny abilities to fix nearly anything mechanical (actually, make that nearly anything at all, period). He was at his happiest spending time with his family, restoring Cushman scooters, camping, and fishing. He loved teaching his children and grandchildren all he knew about fishing. He was always using his knowledge and God given skills to help others. He will be greatly missed by all those who have been blessed to know him.
Service is Thursday, 11 am with viewing one hour prior at Payne Church of the Nazarene, 509 Orchard St, Payne, OH. Viewing is also Wednesday, 4 -8 pm at the church.
He will be laid to rest at Wiltsie Cemetery, Payne.
Memorials are to Paulding County Hospital Home Health; Payne Fire & EMS or Payne Church of the Nazarene.
Fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com
GENE'S LIFE STORY
There was no one quite like Gene Cox in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. A man of strong faith, he lived by his convictions and the golden rule. He was always using his knowledge and God-given skills to help others, and he was a fine example of integrity for his children and grandchildren to live by. A friend of many and a stranger to none, Gene served his community in various capacities and his hard work ethic was to be admired. Gene found in his family his greatest joy, and for these things and so much more, he will be dearly missed.
On February 9, 1941 in the small, rural village of Payne, Ohio, Otis and Eliene (Deerwester) Cox welcomed the birth of their little boy whom they lovingly named Gene Alton Cox. One of three children in the Cox household, Gene grew up alongside his brothers, Kenneth and Ross. His father worked as a machinist while his mother was a busy homemaker and also worked at the local grocery. A boy typical of his generation, Gene shared numerous adventures with his brothers and neighborhood friends. He attended the local schools, and from the time he was a young child, Gene amazed others with his natural and uncanny ability to fix nearly anything mechanical. In fact, he could fix most everything. Sometimes to his mother’s dismay, he’d often take things apart and put them back together just to learn how they worked, including doorknobs and locks! When he was small he had a toy train with an alcohol fueled engine and Gene always believed his mother took it away from him for fear he’d burn down the house with it if it caught fire. During his youth Gene’s hard work ethic and determination was evident. He delivered newspapers on his Cushman scooter and helped his father lay hardwood floors in their house. Like many young men, he also loved cars, particularly Corvettes.
Gene graduated from Payne High School with the Class of 1959. He then went on to further his education at Bailey Technical Institute in St. Louis, Missouri where he graduated at the top of his class as a diesel mechanic. From 1965 to 1985 Gene and his parents owned and operated Cox’s Repair in Payne. They repaired everything from cars to farm machinery, and maintained the local school buses along with servicing tires. Gene was also a certified welder, and later went on to assemble and repair medical devices.
Life as Gene knew it forever changed in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1965 when he met the love of his life, Sheryl Henshaw on a blind date set-up by mutual friends. A match made in heaven, they became engaged in January of 1966 and were happily married on April 6th, 1966 by Rev. Meussling at St. Jacob’s United Church of Christ in Payne. To their union they welcomed the love of children in their lives with the births of Melissa, Douglas, and Jennifer. Gene was his happiest surrounded by those he loved. He so enjoyed spending time with his family, especially on their various group vacations including many trips camping, spending time at the lake house, traveling to places such as Virginia Beach, Virginia, Gulf Shores, Alabama, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and driving together in his RV across the western U.S. He was also especially close to his niece, Sherri Lynn. He always enjoyed holiday gatherings where he was sure to lead everyone in prayer before the meal. When grandchildren eventually came along, Gene was surely in his element and he treasured how they referred to him as, “Papa Geneo”!
Along with working to support the family entrusted to his care, Gene selflessly gave of his time and talents in other areas, too. He contributed to his community through service on the town council, fire departments and as a Boy Scout Leader. He enjoyed music, even playing the piano as a child and the ukulele as an adult. As a man of faith, Gene was a longtime member of Payne Church of the Nazarene where he loved attending Sunday school. In his free time, Gene enjoyed restoring old Cushman scooters, camping and fishing. He loved teaching his children and grandchildren all he knew about fishing. He always had a pocket knife and multi-tool in his pocket at the ready, even when going through security on a cruise ship! He was never one for playing cards or board games, but at times was forced to participate, like playing Balderdash when he tried convincing everyone “Speck” was “Spock's” brother! Gene especially loved dancing with his beloved wife.
An avid fan of Ohio State football, he also passed on his love of automotive repair to his grandson, Jacob. Gene was a firm believer that if something was made by man, he could fix it, but if it was made by God, well, that was another story. His family and even his heart doctor were holding their breath that Gene could restrain himself from working on and therefore likely "improving" his LVAD heart device! Over the years, Gene saved special room in his heart for his precious animals: Pepper, Fluffy, Pickles, Kasan, Molly, Taffy, Garfield, Marshmallow, Glory, and Noel. In the past year and a half, the most recent addition to his animal kingdom was little companion and unofficial "therapy" dog, Penny, who brought Gene great joy, laughter, and cuddles.
The very heart of Gene Cox encompassed his love for others. He used his hands as tools for the benefit of others, and his mind and heart for the greater good. Even in death, he was able to give a precious gift to others through participating in the organ and tissue donation program. His favorite poem was "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer, which spoke to him through its simple yet profound descriptions of God’s creation. He gave selflessly and used his knowledge and talents to help others while never expecting anything in return. A loving husband, wonderful father and grandfather, Gene was a great friend, too. Smart as a whip with a kind, servant’s heart, he will be greatly missed by all who have been blessed to know him.
Gene Alton Cox, age 77, of Payne, Ohio passed into his creator’s hands Sunday June 10, 2018 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 52 years, Sheryl Cox (Henshaw). Also missing him immensely are his children: daughter, Melissa (Douglas) Roop of Payne, son, Douglas Gene Cox of Lebanon Ohio, and daughter, Jennifer (Andrew) Swan of Indianapolis, Indiana. He also leaves behind his precious grandchildren, Zach (Jara) Roop of Granger Indiana, Jacob (Breanna), Nathanael, and Julianne Roop of Payne, Taylor, Austin, and Carter Cox of Lebanon, and Drew, Elora, Charlotte, and Liam Swan of Indianapolis, as well as one great-grandchild, Larkin Roop of Granger. Also surviving Gene are his brothers, Kenneth (Sandra) Cox of Payne and Ross (Connie) Cox of Bryan.
The service to celebrate Gene’s life will be Thursday, June 14, 2018, 11:00 am with viewing one hour prior at Payne Church of the Nazarene, 509 Orchard Street, Payne, Ohio. Viewing is also Wednesday, 4 -8 pm at the church. Gene will be laid to rest at Wiltsie Cemetery in Payne. Memorials to Paulding County Hospital Home Health, Payne Fire & EMS or to Payne Church of the Nazarene are appreciated. Please go to www.dooleyfuneralhome.com to share fond memories of Gene and to sign his online guest book.