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Front Page » September 25, 2012 » Senior Birthdays » Zeniff "J" Cox
Published 667 days ago

Zeniff "J" Cox


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Sept. 17, 1922

90th Birthday

The children of Zeniff "J" Cox hosted an open house in his honor Sept. 22 in Salt Lake City. Family and friends were invited to attend. The Marine Corps sent Fox Company to post the colors. There was much visiting, a program celebrating him and a video presentation of his life. The family want to thank all who came to honor our father.

Dad was born Sept. 17, 1922 to Edward and Emeline Cox in Boneta, Utah. Dad has often proclaimed his relief that his father was reading the ninth chapter of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon rather than Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the time he was choosing a name. He grew up in a three room log cabin on a farm with his five brothers, Dean, Rex, Kenneth, Max and Monte and two sisters, Beth and Elaine. Dad learned to value hard work raising and caring for cattle, sheep, turkeys, pigs, chickens as well as from gardening, milking cows and hauling hay on the homestead in Boneta and, at age 14, the farm in Castle Dale. Dad spent many hours roaming Emery County on Smokey, his horse, with best pal Elvin Seely, his sling shot and .22 rifle. Little else rivals his love of the outdoors and the hills and valleys of his youth in Castle Dale.

When Dad enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the outbreak of WWII he traded Smokey, for a Dauntless dive bomber and Elvin for his victorious pilot, Reed Hannon. He was a tail gunner in the Pacific theater and flew 63 missions with Reed before ending his war service on the ground in Nagasaki. All four of his brothers served in World War II and his eldest brother, Dean, gave his life fighting for freedoms in a foreign land in that war. He married his sweetheart of 68 years, Veda Sweat, in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 13, 1944

Dad and Mom raised seven children, Greg, Valerie, Ronda and Bonnie were born while attending his beloved BYU. After his graduation in Bacteriology, he began working as a scientist and safety engineer the federal government at Dugway, Utah and children Leeana, James and Brett followed.

Dad moved the family to East Millcreek while transferring to work at Fort Douglas. Dad traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Panama, Puerto Rico and the Johnston Islands in his work with radiological and chemical testing. Dad's greatest loves, other than Mom, are working on his wood lathe, gardening, tending his roses, writing poetry, regaling all of us with his childhood, war and Flootmagoot stories, listening faithfully to Lawrence Welk, and solving his daily crossword puzzle. Dad has always been a man of service and even at 90 you will find him tending a neighbor's yard or removing snow from a neighbor's driveway.

His love of his Savior is profound. This love led Mom and him to serve family history missions in Austrailia, Canada and Vermont. He served in the Salt Lake Temple, the Granite Mountain Record Vaults and in the Geneology Library. He has 22 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. We are all blessed with Dad's legendary storytelling, humor, courage, faith and steadfastness.

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