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James Elijah Cox

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James Elijah Cox

October 4, 1925 ~ June 8, 2013

Jim was born on October 4, 1925, in Prosser, WA and died at home in Roseburg, OR on June 8, 2013. His parents were Oscar Cox and Neva Wright/Cox. Oscar worked in the wheat fields and Neva was a housewife. Soon after Jim’s birth, the family moved to Omak, WA and then to Bridgeport, WA, a little town on the Columbia River, where the crops were apples. Growing up, Jim worked every summer and fall in the orchards and packing sheds. He attended Bridgeport Elementary school and three years of high school there. At the time of his fourth year, the Bridgeport school lost accreditation, so knowing that he wanted to attend the University, Jim stayed with his brother in Seattle and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle. He remembered the excitement of seeing an airplane in the sky and all of the students in the elementary school rushing to the window for a look at this new wonder. Upon graduation, at age 17, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Boot Camp at Farragut Naval Training Station, in the pan-handle of Idaho. [For some interesting history and information about this camp, see:] Having been a good student, he was then sent to various electronic schools. After finishing electronic school, he was assigned to a destroyer escort roaming the Pacific. His job was keeping the ship’s radar in operation. At the time of the signing of the surrender of the Japanese, his ship was anchored in Tokyo Harbor as part of the protection for the American representatives. When he came home, he immediately enrolled in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. He became a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Phi and earned his BS in Electrical Engineering. His Masters Degree was earned at Stanford. While at the University of Washington, he became fascinated with a new subject, radio astronomy. It was interesting that one of his projects in his later career was involved in the design of “big dish” antennas - used for tracking satellites, listening for life on other planets, etc. His career spanned vacuum tubes in 1950, through transistors, and on to microchip integrated circuits. He met Marilyn Alice Coates at a dance while both were students at the University of Washington. They were married in Chelan, WA on September 2, 1950. He considered Scouting important and was an assistant Scout Master as long as his boys, Dan and Dale, were in the program. He enjoyed the outdoors and hiking and camping with his family. He was a Controls System Engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Company in Sunnyvale, CA for many years. The family lived in Los Altos, CA, although in their early years of marriage they lived in San Diego, CA and Long Beach, CA. Marilyn and Jim lived in Austin, TX for a couple of years (1983 to 1985), still with Lockheed, before returning to Los Altos. While he was in Texas, he worked on the RPG Military Drone Program. Upon retirement in 1990, they sold their home and he and Marilyn moved into a motorhome and spent ten years traveling throughout America, before settling at Linus Oaks in Roseburg, OR in the summer of 2000. Following their traveling, he enjoyed his computer, genealogy, and reading. He was an avid computer user, favoring Apple computers and always tried to have the latest and most powerful Mac available.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Elsie Bowers. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marilyn; two sons, Daniel Paul and Dale Jonathan and wife, Lisa; one grandson, Dan’s son, Jonathan Edward Cox; and several nieces and nephews. His brother, Robert, passed away shortly after Jim on July 3, 2013.

His ashes were scattered in the Redwoods of Northern California.

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