Gary Evans Cox, passed away unexpectedly on October 8, 2017, at his home in Payette, ID. Gary was born in Ogden, UT on July 4, 1937 to Don and Maxine Cox.
Gary’s early years were spent in Swan Valley, Rexburg ID, and Evanston WY with his parents and brother Boyd. His father, a Forest Ranger, moved his family to Emmett, ID in 1945. Gary loved growing up in Emmett. As a boy scout, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, one of his proudest achievements. Gary spent his summers attending scout camp, working in the orchards, and making lifelong friends. As a youth, he spent countless hours in High Valley hunting and fishing.
Gary had an eye for the ladies. In 1956, at a street dance, a Boise girl caught his eye, Carole Sue Brown who he happily married in June of 1959. Gary and Carole Sue spent a wonderful 58 years together, these include 26 years in the Air Force with countless moves. Over the course of his career the family resided in 10 different states and 2 countries The Philippines, and Germany.
Gary began preparing for his military career with a short year at West Point. Later deciding that he would rather be in the air than on the ground he transferred to the University of Portland and into the AFROTC program. After graduating in 1961 Gary received his commission in the USAF as a 2nd LT. followed by pilot training at Williams Air Force base, in Chandler, AZ.
After earning his pilot wings, he began his career as a fighter pilot for the USAF. From 1965 to 1967 he flew over 300 combat missions over Vietnam. Gary continued to serve in the USAF after the war retiring as a Colonel in 1987. After retiring, Gary continued working within the Air Force as a civilian contractor at Luke Air Force Base, AZ. Gary and Carole Sue celebrated a final retirement in 2002. They became snow birds with a summer home in Payette, ID and spent their winters in Sun City, AZ
Gary and Carole Sue began raising a beautiful family with Theresa being born in Arizona in 1962, Patrick followed in 1965 when the family was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California. Completing their family with the addition of Colleen in 1968 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. In 1982 Theresa married Dennis Anderson of Richland Center, WI. They gave them three wonderful grandchildren, Todd, Scott, and Brianna. Gary and Carole Sue enjoyed having the grandchildren spend the summers with them in Arizona. He took great pride in celebrating The Fourth of July and his birthday with them. Finally, in 2008, Patrick married Jennifer. They gave them four more grandchildren which Gary enjoyed through his retirement years.
Gary always felt blessed to have lived a good life with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He loved all his grandchildren, but there was a special place in his heart for Brianna. She could charm him with her dimples and big blue eyes. In his last few years he was thrilled that his grandson, Brogan was fascinated with airplanes and enjoyed teaching him the names of the various jets…a future pilot for sure.
Gary always said if he could do his life over he wouldn’t change a thing. He personified duty, honor, and love of country. As a bonus, the Air Force gave him fabulous toys to play with. These toys included the F-102, F-4, and the F-16. He loved flying with all his heart and he was a true fighter pilot.
He is survived by his wife Carole Sue, Son Patrick (Jennifer) and their children Caitlin, Dallin, Brogan, and Ashlinn. His daughter Colleen Cox, and his grandchildren Todd, Scott, and Brianna Anderson. He will miss seeing his grandson Todd marry Amber Acheson, but loved meeting her as well as a bonus “great-grandson” Nolan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Boyd, daughter Theresa Anderson, and son in law Dennis Anderson.
A memorial mass will be at a St. Mary’s Church at 28th and State in Boise, ID at 11am followed by military graveside services at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, 10100 N Horseshoe Bend Rd, Boise, ID at 1pm. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made in The Cox Family name at the Ronald McDonald House.