Merle Cox, 68, died Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at his home with his family by his side following an extended illness. Funeral Services will be held at noon Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello, where friends may call after 9:30 a.m. that day. The Rev. Al Polito will officiate at the services.
Thoughts, memories and condolences may be left at www.goettschonline.com.
Surviving are four children, Tim (Angie) Cox, Monticello, Stephanie Chappell, Monticello, Jennifer (Brett) Morris, Cedar Rapids and Ben Cox, Monticello; 10 grandchildren; three sisters, Phyllis (Paul) Lumpa, Monticello, Wilma (Tom) Paulsen, Wyoming, Linda McAllister, Arlington; and his former wives, Ruth Cox, Monticello and Coleen Cox, Beloit, Wis.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jeanne Cox.
Merle Edward Cox was born June 15, 1944, at the John McDonald Hospital, Monticello, Iowa. He was the son of Edward and Margaret Baxter Cox. He graduated from the Monticello Community Schools with the class of 1962. Merle loved music and participated in choir, Boys Glee Club and was a member of a barbershop quartet and concert band. He also competed in many state music contests and was especially proud of performing a solo at Dorian Music Festival at Luther College. After attending Wartburg College for a short time, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1963. Merle worked as a jet aircraft mechanic and was stationed at Takhli, Thailand and Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, until 1967. Merle was honored to be the crew chief of F-107B Voodoo for the Washington, D.C. fly over salute of General MacArthur’s funeral. He returned home and worked as a mechanic and in the parts department at Monticello Implement. Merle and Ruth Bossard were married Nov. 1967, and they had four children. They later divorced.
Merle married Coleen Fisher in 1980. The couple lived in Oklahoma where Merle worked in the oil fields. In 1984, they moved to Anamosa and Merle returned to work at Monticello Implement as a salesman and shop manager. He later purchased the business and changed the name to Cox Implement. He closed the dealership in 1991. Merle continued to work in farm equipment dealerships in Georgia and Missouri, until he retired.
Merle was a dedicated NASCAR fan and loved to support his son and various family members and friends who did local racing and demo derbies. He also enjoyed all kinds of wood working and kept busy with home improvement projects and working on old tractors. He loved spending time with his family, grandkids and friends, which he did until the very end.
The family would like to thank the VA Hospitals, Above and Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice for their care, love and concern over the last several years.
Published in The Gazette Nov. 18, 2012.