Miami County Sheriff Charles A. Cox Jr. was remembered Nov. 22 as a man dedicated to family, at home and at work.
Cox, 71, who was first elected in 1988 and again six more times, died Nov. 10 at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. He had planned to retire at year’s end.
A Piqua native, Cox served in the Army and worked at the Troy Police Department before making the bid for sheriff.
Flags lined the driveway leading to the Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, where a memorial service of prayers and music accompanied by memories shared by family, friends and colleagues was held.
Acting Sheriff Dave Duchak, who was elected Nov. 8 as the county’s new sheriff, gave the eulogy.
“He taught us to treat others the way we wanted to be treated,” Duchak said. “Not only was he the people’s sheriff, he was a cop’s cop … Miami County is a better county having him as sheriff for 28 years.”
Bob Cornwell of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association recalled a long friendship with Cox, who served as the association’s president in 2005.
Cornwell talked about how he would banter with Cox.
“It was a pleasure with Sheriff Cox – always,” he said. He described Cox as honorable, ethical, sensible and consistent.
Cox was to be honored the previous week with the association’s Professional Service Award. Cornwell, instead, presented that award to Cox’s wife, Lynn, during the service.
Family friend Ethel Grayson shared stories of Cox, many recalled by his wife. Grayson told of a man who loved trips to the Outer Banks, fishing, flea markets, garage sales and working puzzles with family.
Capt. Dave Norman talked of driving across the county with the sheriff, who he said was known by everyone and always was courteous and polite. “I told people working for him was like working for my father,” Norman said.
“He cared deeply for the men and women of the sheriff’s office,” he said, adding Cox allowed people to do their job to the best of their abilities.
The sheriff never wavered in his duties and responsibilities, Norman said. “He said doing what is right is harder than looking the other way,” he said.
Greg Simmons, a local pastor and FOP chaplain, conducted the service. He said Cox shared three families – biological, law enforcement and the family of God. “He understood the group is more important than one person,” Simmons said of the law enforcement family.
The service included bagpipes, a 21-bell salute, a last call through the Miami County Communications Center, Taps and the presentation of a flag to Lynn Cox by Duchak.
In addition to his wife, four children, 10 grandchildren, three siblings and his dogs survive Cox.
Memorial contributions may be made to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
Photos by Carla Ungerecht.