Mr. Larry Dale Cox, 62, of Cabool, Missouri, peacefully ascended to heaven on February 13, 2009 at Harry S. Truman Medical Center in Columbia, Missouri.
Larry was born on January 19, 1947 in Willow Springs, Missouri, the son of Charles and Helen (Lovan) Cox.
He grew up on the family farm and on his seventeenth birthday he boarded a bus headed for St. Louis to join the United States Army. Larry proudly served his country, completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood and later was assigned to Fort Hamilton, New York, and then to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. While in the Army, he received the National Defense Service medal, the Sharpshooter medal and recently was awarded the Vietnam War medal and medallion.
Larry was married to his loving wife Shirley on August 14, 1971 and together they made their home in Cabool. He was previously employed by Frisco Railroad which later merged to become Burlington Northern. However, he truly enjoyed working for the Watson family on their farm.
Although Larry may have never painted a Picasso or climbed Mt. Everest, he definitely surpassed these events by achieving the status of a loving husband, a remarkable father and a faithful friend. However, his greatest accomplishment in life was being an outstanding grandfather. The love he held for his grandchildren was easily seen and felt by all.
Larry was also known for opening his heart and his home for those in need. He always said, “We may never have much but we’ll always be willing to share.” He never met a stranger and was always eager to just sit and visit. He was never at a loss for words and usually somewhere in a conversation you would hear him say “My Daddy always said.”
He had a variety of interests and hobbies; however, the most notable would be his love of camping, hunting and the outdoors. Seldom would a summer pass without a few visits to Blue Springs or Norfork Lake.
In his younger days, Larry with his beloved horse, Little Red, and his brother, David, with his horse, Joe Buck, would participate in several fun shows and small rodeos. He would often recall stories of how David would spur his horse causing Little Red to lunge forward giving him quite an exciting ride.
Larry and his brother-in-law, Kenny Martin, made it a personal quest to conquer every Chinese restaurant in the Midwest. It’s a known fact that the army of two frequently traveled to distant lands such as Arkansas and Oklahoma just to try a different buffet. One can rest assured they always got their money’s worth.
Greeting Larry as he entered the Kingdom of Heaven were his parents; his grandparents, Otho and Ivah Lovan; an older brother, Donald Cox; a younger sister, Brenda Cox; and others that he held close to his heart, such as Don McFarland, Geneva Cooper and Herschel Martin.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley of the home; three daughters, Juli Oravec and husband John of Willow Springs, Paula Gross of Licking, Missouri, and Nikki Stilley and husband Eddie of Bucyrus, Missouri; two sons, Dale Cox and wife Sherry of Mtn. View, Misouri, and Craig Cox and wife Debra of Cabool; two brothers, Frank Cox of Willow Springs and David Cox and wife Bea of Willow Springs; and six adopted brothers and sisters, Ann, David, Amanda, Rodney, Chance and Chase. Larry is also survived by his grandchildren who knew him as Pa Pa. They are Kayla Cox, Clay Cox, Trevor Oravec, Trey Oravec, James Cox, LaTosha Cox, Danny Gross, Matt Gross, Kyle Gross and Cody Stilley; one great-grandchild, Sarina Cox; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Larry accepted Christ as his savior and was baptized at an early age. Realizing that his life on earth may be short he rededicated his life to God weeks before passing at West Side Family Life Center where he was a member.
Services were at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 17, 2009, at the funeral home chapel with Pastor David Lovan officiating. Pallbearers were Craig Cox, Dale Cox, James Cox, Clay Cox, Eddie Stilley, John Oravec, Kyle Gross and Matt Gross. Honorary pallbearers were Trey Oravec, Trevor Oravec, Cody Stilley, Danny Gross and Shannon Cox. Interment with full military honors was at Pleasant Grove Cemetery near Cabool, under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
The family has requested memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Those donations may be made at the funeral home or by phone, 1-800-873-6983; mail, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or online at www.stjude.org/donate.