Robert Cox Obituary, Death – Robert Earl Cox, Sr., of Ocean Springs, passed away on Saturday, June 10, 2023, leaving behind a huge, loving family and a slew of friends as he left this earth to continue his life in Heaven. Robert Cox was born in New Orleans on September 5, 1932, to Harold Ivan Cox and Elise Ryan Cox. He went to St. Alphonsus Catholic School and Ocean Springs High School, where he was voted “Cutest Boy” and “Mr. Ocean Springs High School.” He excelled at basketball, football, and baseball, and he was the yearbook editor of his graduating class of 1952.
Robert joined the Air Force and was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico for four years, when he met and married his dedicated wife, Peggy Smith Cox. In 1956, they returned to Ocean Springs with only a picture of Jesus and a luggage. He worked for two years at Ingalls Shipbuilding before becoming a barber and starting Cox’s Barber Shop, which he owned and operated for 45 years.
Robert’s life in Ocean Springs was long, full of love, and well-lived. He and Peggy formed a family with five daughters and one son. He was a City Alderman and Alderman-at-Large for eight years and operated a business. Robert Cox Construction, Inc. was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Council #5654, an official of the Jaycees, and a volunteer firefighter, where he saved a baby’s life during Hurricane Camille in 1969 by administering the Heimlich Maneuver.
Robert coached small league, semi-pro, and American Legion baseball. He was also a semi-pro baseball player with Gulf Hills Realty. Robert was a golf enthusiast who managed the Marsh Island Golf Course for two years. He founded the Pine Island Men’s Day Game, oversaw the Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament for many years, and eventually settled on the 10th fairway of Gulf Hills Golf Course.
What began with an offer to do the Bunny Hop grew into a life of unselfish commitment and affection for everyone he met, whether related or not. Everyone was treated like family and was greeted with an embrace and a grin. Robert was welcomed into Heaven by his siblings, Shirley Seymour (Narvin), Harold “Junior” Cox (Evelyn), Stanley “Jimmy” Cox (Delores), and great-granddaughter, Katelyn Mitchell.
He left a legacy of loving family and friends who will miss him until the day they meet again including the love of his life and wife of 66 years, Peggy Cox; siblings, Ernest “Moochie” Cox (Annabelle), Rose Marie Cox Smith (J.B.); children, Susan Cox Dollar (Gery), Cheryl Cox Verhoeven (Gary), Cindy Cox Dollar (David), Nan Cox Fountain (Carl), Pam Cox Ferrill (Gerald), and Robert E. “Bobby” Cox, Jr. (Lori); grandchildren, Andrea Mitchell, Stacey Johnson, Natalie Lancaster (Jesse), Tiffany Sparks, Lisa Ferguson (David), Kyle Dollar (Christy), Rachel Green (Kenny), Matthew Jalanivich (Stephanie), Chase Ferrill, Darren Cox, Chad Ferrill, Chaney Ferrill (Emily), Anslee Harris, and Evan Harris; great-grandchildren, Graham Ferguson, Everett Andrews, Julie Andrews, Oliver Andrews, Payton Mitchell, Gabe Mitchell, Brooklynn Lancaster, Trey Lancaster, Rileigh Grace Parker, Kynleigh Johnson, Matthew Jalanivich, Caroline Jalanivich, Jordan Green, Blaine Sparks, Ryder Green, and Kashton Grey; and great-great grandchild, Adalyn McCarthy; as well as many others he loved as his own.
Nothing speaks more to his life than his love for his family, despite his life being distinguished by acts of service, hobbies, and time spent with friends. Robert loved each of us as though we were his own, whether by blood or by choice. While we shall all miss him dearly, we can take comfort in knowing he is waiting for his bride with open arms, pacing around Heaven’s gate with a wide grin and a warm hug at the ready, exclaiming, “Let’s go, Peggy!” A Christian Burial Mass will be performed at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. Friends are welcome to visit from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Crestlawn Memorial Park will be the site of the interment. Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is proud to serve Robert Earl Cox, Sr.’s family and friends.