William 'Bill' Marion Cox Jr.
William Marion Cox Jr., Bill, passed away June 12, 2014 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Ore. after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease and the complications from it. He was the great-grandson of James Kane Barry, who was an early pioneer of the Irish settlement in Lake County, Oregon. Bill's Dad rode saddle bronc under the stage name of "Bill Brown" and won first place in the 1926 Lakeview Round Up with a memorable ride on the horse named Bally Down.
He was born December 12, 1930 to William Marion Cox, Sr. and Ruth Eolus Cox (Barry) in Molalla, Ore. He spent his first 35 years as a resident of Lake County. His parents owned a cattle ranch on the east side of Crump Lake in Warner Valley. He began school in Adel and then later rode the bus to attend Junior High in Lakeview.
At age 13 he moved to Lakeview and began working for the Angele family, driving tractor. He worked various jobs and was driving log truck when he decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 during the Korean War. He was sent to Sheppard AFB in Texas for nine months of training and then sent to Travis AFB in August 1952. During his service Bill rose to the rank of Staff Sargeant and he worked on B-36 R planes. While on leave and attending a dance in Plush, Ore. he met his future wife, Colleen Patricia Powers. They were married March 14, 1953 in Reno, Nev. While at Travis AFB, they had two children, Donald Roy and Sheryl Ann. He was honorably discharged in late 1955 and spent the winter at his parents' ranch in Warner Valley. After spending two years in Idaho, logging, he moved the family to Lakeview, Ore. in December of 1958 and went to work driving log truck for Andy Smerski and then later went to work for American Forest Products driving log truck and working in the mill. In November 1959 their third child, Teresa Lynn, was born. In April of 1961, the fourth child, Douglas Jack, arrived.
In 1964 he renovated an old dump truck, which he used for hire, to do flood clean up in the spring of 1965. Using it, he moved the family and their possessions to Central Point. He then went to work at Ted DeFord's Truck Shop until logging season started. The next five years he worked as a timber faller for R.W. Jacks, Vanderlip, and Ira Smith. During this time, the fifth child, Rebecca Susan, arrived in 1967. In 1971, he partnered with Art Wilson, another timber faller, to form Crater Log Salvage which was later renamed Crater Log, Inc. In 1973 they added a saw mill and retail yard in White City which operated until sold in the late 1980s.
After that he began designing and building his dream home on property purchased in the John's Peak area of Central Point. Changing careers in 1994, he purchased Alton Pump, Inc., a submersible pump business and operated that until his retirement at age 80 in 2011 due to his declining health from Parkinson's disease. They sold the dream home in late 2013 and moved closer to town.
Bill was a Patriot and loved his country. He was a dedicated family man and had an amazing work ethic. He loved animals; in particular his Mom and Dad's work horse named Uncle Gumas and retold his children many stories about the ranch. Bill's hobbies were square dancing, boating, water skiing, and target shooting. Bill loved his friends: Greg and Robert Liles, John Winters, Tim Palm, and Stan Foley. Bill had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed making everyone laugh, even right up to the end. He loved helping others and had an extremely generous heart for all.
He is survived by his wife, Colleen; and their five children, Donald (Raelene) of White City, Sheryl (Peter) Wirts of Medford, Teresa Stevens (Kris) of Central Point, Doug (Tammy) of Shady Cove, and Rebecca (Bruce) of Sam's Valley. He is also survived by 12 of his 13 grandchildren, Brian, Travis and Lori Cox, Amelia Wirts, Amber Elliott, Anna Arritola and Joseph Glenn, Tom, Michelle, and Katherine Cox, and Nicole Brown and Jordan Schulz. Bill is also survived by 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and three nieces, Dawnie Kay, Tracy Lee, and Tracy Ann (Robert). He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Donald Kenneth Cox; nephew, Robert William Cox; and grandson, Joshua George Paul Wirts. Bill was also preceded by his best friend, Ron Matthiesen.
Memorial services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 19, 2014 at Conger-Morris Central Point Chapel, 800 South Front Street. Afterwards, a light brunch will be served 1:00 p.m. at The Point, 311 E. Pine Street, Central Point. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bill's name to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.