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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, September 09, 2004

OBITUARY ~ VERNON LEE "CORKY" COX

Funeral services for Corky COX, age 73, of Bedford, Iowa who died Sunday, August 29, 2004 were held Friday, September 3, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ritchie Funeral Home with Pastor William BALLARD officiating. Interment with military rites accorded by the John F. Hardin American Legion Post No. 164 were held in the Lexington Cemetery in Beford. Memorials can be givin in Corky's name. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Bedford.

Vernon Lee COX, son of John E. and Permilia (Millie) J. BROWN COX was born October 1, 1930 at their farm home in Ringgold county south of Blockton, Iowa and entered into his enternal rest on Sunday, August 29, 2004 at the Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the sixth of seven children who were all born on the farm known as Poverty Ridge. In 1935, John and Millie moved the family to a rented farm southeast of Bedford. Vernon earned the nickname "Corky" at an early age. He resembled a character in a comic strip with his black curly hair and precocious nature and has been known as Corky ever since. He grew up attending country grade school and then graduated with the class of 1949 from the Bedford high school. He always enjoyed the school reunions and getting the change to visit and reminisce with his fellow "forty-niners."

Corky enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was stationed in Germany for the duration of the war, serving as a radio operator. Corky was a proud veteran of that war and was very patriotic and proud of his service to his country. He He became a lifetime member of the John F. Hardin American Legion Post No. 164 in Bedford where he felt a particular pride in helping to honor his fellow veterans at their time of death.

Upon his return from the service, Corky took over the family farm. He enjoyed working the land and tilling the soil. He was happiest when he was on the John Deere tractor working the land. In 1957, he moved to his current residence, a farm north of Bedford on Highway 49. While living there he continued to raise crops but was particularly fond of caring for his herd of cattle. In the 1960s he began working for the United States Postal Service, a career that spanned 17 years. While delivering mail he particularly liked the opportunity to visit wih all of his customers on the route. At one point, he rescued little Joe LUCAS who was stuck while playing in a mud hole! As well as carrying mail and farming, he moonlighted as Taylor county's first mixologist (bartender).

Corky build his mother a new home at their farm in the early 1970s where he lived with her until her death. He was a confirmed bachelor who alway said, "he would never get married." It was while he was tending bar at the Starlite Lounge where he really became acquainted with Norma BOSLEY MEIKLE. You see, she was moonlighting as a cocktail waitress too! They had a great time working together and soon began dating. Together they enjoyed dancing, socializing and going for rides on Corky's motocycle. They were united in marriage on August 14, 1976 at the United Christian Presbyterian Church in Bedford. Norma's son, James MEIKLE, became a part of Corky's family.

Corky became an active church member and participated in the infant baptism of their daughter, Celinda Lee, who was born on January 2, 1978. She was the first baby born that year at the Clarinda hospital and therefore was the "Queen of 1978." Corky often said he didn't want a red-faced squalling baby, but when Celinda was born, he simply thought she was a beautiful baby!

Corky began to experience heart problems soon after Celinda's birth, but continued to be actively involved in her life. He was a wood working leader for the Bedford Downtowners 4-H Club. He loved working with wood and made Celinda rocking horses and cradles for her dollies. He assisted Jim in making a racecar for the pinewood derby and also constructed a showcase for Jim's race car trophies. Due to his declining helath, he was unable to go back to work so he decided to start college. He graduated in 1985 from Iowa Western Community College with an associate of arts degree. He then enrolled in courses from Buena Vista College where he earned his bachelor's degree in business management in 1988.

One of Corky's greatest greatest joys was traveling. In 1987, he was able to take his family to Europe and show them many of his favortie places in Germany where he had visited during his days in the Army. He and his family continued to reminisce years afterwards about the memories of that vacation. He stayed busy around the house while Norma went to work. He especially enjoyed caring for Celinda and taking her wherever she needed to go. He derived great pleasure from his gardenand spent a lot of time canning tomatoes, making sauerkraut and putting up pickles. If he didn't can 500 quarts of vegetables, he felt his family might not make it through the winter!

As Celinda got older, Corky had more free time so he took a job driving the Southwest Iowa Trolley for the senior citizens and Head Start kids. Corky felt he was needed and liked to help the "old folks" get around. He had one particular "old lady" who asked him to check out her house when she was dropped off. He even had to get down on his hands and knees to be sure no one was hiding under her bed!

In 1993, Jim's daughter, Kayla Renee MEIKLE, was born and became Corky's second little girl. Corky's girls kept him young and active. He tried to pretend he was "in charge" however, we all knew he was a softie at heart as he usually let the girls have their way. As Kayla grew older, Corky took a part-time job as a bank courier for the Great Western Bank in Bedford. He loved driving to Mount Ayr every day and visiting with the bank employees.

One of Corky's proudest moments was seeing Celinda graduate from Northwest Missouri State University in 2001. He was proud of her accomplishements and loved to travel to Kansas City to visit her and her fiance, Jesse.

Left to cherish Corky's memory are his wife, Norma; daughter, Celinda Lee COX and fiance, Jesse HODGES; son, James Aaron MEIKLE; granddaguthers, Kayla Renee and Cassi Dawn MEIKLE; a brother, Clifford (Joe) COX and wife Deloris; sisters-in-law, Coryl COX and Norma COX; along with numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Preceding Corky in death were his parents, John and Millie; three brothers, Elvin (Jim) COX, Edward (Chub) COX, and Lewis COX; a sister, Lorene BECK and her husband, Donald, and also sister, Phyllis, who died at infancy.

Corky was a plain, fun-loving and hardworking man who was never seen without a smile on his face. He spent his years putting his family's needs before his own and he will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

May God grant comfort and strength to those who mourn Corky's passing.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2012

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