Cheney has lost one of its finest this past week with the passing of Gary Cox at the age of 67.
Gary was born in 1945 in Alhambra, Calif. to the late Lloyd Cox and Mildred (Cox) Kalbin of Cheney. He served his country with pride in the U.S. Navy aboard “his ship” the USS Hornet during Vietnam and welcomed his first son Michael in 1965.
Gary and Patricia (Dye) Cox married in 1969, having two daughters Brenda (Cox) Gladden and Valerie (Cox) Grover.
Gary left GTE of San Jose and Los Gatos Police Department in 1978 and moved the family to Cheney to join Telephone Utilities (CenturyLink) and the Cheney Police Department as a reserve police officer.
Gary became the Cheney Police Reserve commander, serving Cheney for over 30 years. His pride, dedication, integrity and commitment were ever present in all that he said and did.
Gary was most proud of his eight grandchildren. He loved watching his boys play football and the girls in their sports. Gary even coached one of the football teams for two years and took it very seriously; teaching the boys about sportsmanship and the game, never matter the score. He would call the players “his boys” to this day.
Gary retired from CenturyLink in 2010 and was ready to relax and travel. His last trip was to his favorite place, the beach, always excited to see the sunset.
Gary was a simple man who loved his wife, family, friends and had the utmost pride in his community, and never wavered from his beliefs and morals. He taught his family that “your word is all you have, anything can be agreed upon with a handshake, respect-you get what you give, and anything worth having is worth working for.”
If you worked with him as a partner, you felt safe knowing he was your backup.
If you watched how he treated people you knew what it meant to be compassionate.
If you watched him with his wife you knew true love and how marriage should be.
If you watched him with his children and grandchildren you knew that family was his life.
If you were part of his family you knew what it meant to be loved, supported, valued, encouraged and protected.
If you were his friend you had the promise of an ear to listen and a strong shoulder, a warm smile, and a word of advice if you asked for it, and sometimes not what you wanted to hear but what you needed to hear; whether you liked it or not, there was always love behind it.
With the passing of Gary, Dad, Papa, Coach, there is a forever void that can never be filled, but the principals he taught and the love he showed with carry on forever.
Gary is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patricia (Dye) Cox of Cheney, his son Michael (Govero) Cox of Visalia, Calif., his daughters Brenda (Cox) Gladden and Valerie (Cox) Grover, both of Cheney, his sister Kathleen (Cox) and Gary Johnson of Veradale, Wash., his eight grandchildren Meghan Cox, Caitlyn Cox, Justin Ward, Amanda Ward, Tyler Gladden, Shannen Gladden, Hailee Huff and Jessie Gladden. His great granddaughter Ella Cox, nieces Lori Renshaw and Chenine (Johnson) Peloquin, nephews Mike Renshaw and Brian Johnson, sister-in-law Debby (Dye) Renshaw and Gary Renshaw.